“We are so honored to have you with us. I believe the potential of the relationship between Israel and Liberia is enormous, and your visit here is a token of friendship and this great potential,” said Herzog ahead of a working meeting.
The Israeli president noted that Weah had enjoyed a successful career as an internationally renowned soccer star for teams in France, Italy and England, scoring over 200 goals for his clubs and country.
“There is much excitement and interest in your visit and experience. We mix love of the Bible, love of Israel, love of Liberia and love of sport,” said Herzog.
He emphasized that it was important for Liberia to open a permanent embassy in Israel, as it would greatly increase the opportunities for cooperation.
“There are so many issues we can work on together, there is a need to advance cooperation in agriculture as soon as possible, and we spoke about other fields of interest including health, defense and foreign affairs. There are many issues that can be upgraded dramatically,” said Herzog.
“I am here with a delegation of ministers who understand that we have made a promise to our people, and we have to fulfill it. We want to work with Israel so we can continue to succeed,” continued Weah.
The leaders thereafter held an in-depth discussion on ways to increase bilateral cooperation, including efforts to bring Liberian students to study advanced agricultural innovations in Israel.
Herzog reiterated the importance of Israel’s observer status in the African Union.
At the conclusion of their meeting, Weah reflected on his son’s signing for the Juventus soccer club.
“I put my note in the Western Wall to God, that Timothy will be the greatest player in the Italian League,” said Weah, who wished the Israeli Under-21 national team luck in its Wednesday semifinals match against England at the European Championship.
Last year, Liberia announced the opening of a new trade office in Jerusalem, which it said would eventually become the West African country’s first official embassy in Israel.
In March 2019, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met Weah in Jerusalem, as Israel continues to expand its outreach in Africa.
Netanyahu, who visited the Liberian capital of Monrovia in June 2017 to participate in a conference of the Economic Community of West African States, said at the time: “Israel is returning to Africa in a big way. Africa is coming to Israel, and the entire world is coming to Israel. We are turning Israel into a rising global
Produced in association with Jewish News Syndicate
(Additional reporting provided by JNS Reporter)
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