- A memorandum of understanding seeking to establish bilateral economic cooperation between the Liberian government and Israeli Diamond Industry (IDI) was today signed in the Israeli city of Tel Aviv.
The agreement was signed by the Liberian Minister of Lands, Mines and Energy, Dr Eugene Shannon and Chairman of IDI, Moti Ganz at a state banquet in hour of the visiting Liberian President, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf.
The memorandum recognises the strategic importance of diamond industries to both countries as well as the mutual benefit to be accrued by enhanced cooperation. It accords IDI the right to offer services of its top diamond specialists to assist the Liberian government in establishing a firm and stable diamond infrastructure.
The Liberian government in turn agreed to facilitate and encourage economic cooperation between Israeli and Liberian diamond companies.
President Johnson-Sirleaf recognised the aged-old deep friendship between the two countries. She said her visit was meant to revitalise Liberia-Israel relationship and to develop economic ties with Israel’s many industries.
Mrs Johnson-Sirleaf said the visit was part of Liberia’s initiatives to overhaul the governance system of its diamond industry so that Liberians can have equitable distribution of resource.
Liberia was finally admitted to the Kimberley Process in May 2007 after the UN Security Council lifted sanctions on the country’s diamond.
The IDI Chairman was excited about the deal. "We are very pleased to have come to this agreement with the Government of Liberia, which we believe is of strategic importance to Israeli Diamond Industry,“ Mr Ganz said.
“Liberia has made significant strides in instituting democracy and rule of law. Liberia's future is filled with diamonds. This agreement will enable us to create significant ties with Liberia's emerging diamond industry. At the same time, we can contribute our experience to the Liberian government in helping to develop the infrastructure for a healthy diamond industry. We believe that this is the first step in a long process of cooperation between our two countries."
The IDI Managing Director, Eli Avidar, said the rapid changes in the world diamond makes it imperative for his company to take actions geared towards strengthening “our relations with the diamond producing countries.“
He hailed the agreement as an important contribution to the company’s contribution to its expansion, growth and increase presence in the world diamond market and development.
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