Liberian president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has lauded China’s assistance in rehabilitating the terminal and runway of the Roberts International Airport, saying it marked an important turning point in the development of the country’s main airport.

Sirleaf, at a dedication ceremony in Harbel town on Monday, said the Chinese government’s support has made the facility able to accommodate even the largest of aircrafts.

“I hope we will be able to attract back some of the large airlines that used to serve Liberia in days past,” the president said.

She noted before its rehabilitation, the runway, constructed in the 1970s, had largely deteriorated due to no periodic maintenance, causing difficulties for landing planes.

“We also know that we had a terminal that had been destroyed and what was being used was really most inadequate for those coming to our country for various occasions,” she said, attributing the destruction to the two decades of conflict that beleaguered the West African country.

Sirleaf paid tributes to the Chinese government for its continued support to Liberia and the partnership that “continues to grow stronger and stronger between China and Liberia.”

The project, which costs 50 million U.S. dollars, was partly financed by a loan from the Export-Import Bank of China.

A Chinese construction firm, China Harbor Engineering Company, handled the project that began in September 2016.

Chinese ambassador to Liberia Zhang Yue described the rehabilitation project as “a strong indicator of the strong partnership” between Liberia and China, noting the repair can help usher in more airlines and inject dynamism to the economic recovery of Liberia.

The Roberts International Airport is located near the town of Harbel, outside of Liberia’s capital of Monrovia. Enditem

Source: Xinhua/NewsGhana.com.gh

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