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India opens fourth mission in Liberia for this financial year

India Today logo India Today 22-02-2021 Geeta Mohan
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As a part of India's plan to increase its footprint in Africa, New Delhi has opened the fourth mission in Liberia as planned for the current financial year (2019-2020).

The four missions opened in this financial year are Sierra Leone, Sao Tome, Togo and Liberia.

India had an Honorary Consul General in Liberia for consular services and to look after political engagements, Indian Embassy in Cote D'Ivoire (Ivory Coast) was concurrently accredited to Liberia.

In order to formalise the establishment of the Indian mission, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Liberia, Indian Embassy in Cote D'Ivoire (Ivory Coast), wrote in a letter , "The esteemed Ministry is therefore, requested to kindly expedite necessary clearance for establishing the Embassy of India in Monrovia as well as Agreement of the designated Ambassador of India to Liberia, which has been forwarded to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for necessary clearance."

"The Embassy of India avails itself of this opportunity to renew to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Liberia the assurances of its highest consideration," the letter added.

Upjit Singh Sachdeva appointed as Honarary Consul General of India in Liberia

The Embassy of India in Abidjan has formally withdrawn the "Letter of Commission", appointing Upjit Singh Sachdeva as the Honorary Consul General of India in Liberia. He would cease to function as Honorary Consul General of India with immediate effect.

"The Embassy of India in Abidjan has further honour to express Government of India's sincere appreciation to the Government of Liberia for all the cooperation extended to Mr Upjit Singh Sachdeva while serving as Honorary Consul General of India to Liberia," the letter said.

The decision to invest in establishing embassies in the African continent came up two years ago when India was contesting the elections to be on the Bench of the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

The national capital found that out of the 193 members, they had representations in only 117 (118 including India). India was missing a consulate or a full fledged mission in 75 nations. In Africa, there was presence in only 29 out of 54 African countries.

In March 2018, the Indian government had cleared the opening of 18 new missions in Africa over the four-year period of 2018-21, taking the number of Indian missions in Africa from 29 to 47.

Speaking to India Today from Hyderabad, India's former envoy to the UN and spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs, Ambassador Syed Akbaruddin said, "This reflects India's increased international footprint as behoves a country that has growing global interests."

Presenting the budget for 2019-20 in Parliament, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had said five embassies had already been opened in Rwanda, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Republic of Guinea and Burkina Faso in 2018-19. She added that four were to come up in 2019-20.

"Government intends to open another four new embassies in the year 2019-20," she said, adding this is being done to "give further impetus to India's growing influence and leadership in the international community".

Liberia is the last of the four to come up. The other three were Sierra Leone, Sao Tome, Togo.

"India's growing diplomatic footprint. New Indian Missions now in Sierra Leone (@FreetownHci ) & Togo make it 39 Resident Missions in Africa & 130 in @UN members... Also hearing of more starting soon. In diplomacy every friend matters," Akbaruddin had tweeted when the Indian mission in Sierra Leone had opened up.

In 2018, the Indian government had identified the 18 countries where new missions would be opened inlcuding- Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Chad, Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Mauritania, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Swaziland

and Togo.

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