MONROVIA-A Liberian delegation which went to the USA to hold discussions with top officials of president Joseph Biden’s administration has concluded a successful visit saying it yielded dividend
A dispatch from Washington D.C. late Sunday said the Government of Liberia, through a high level Delegation concludes two-week engagements and discussions with U.S. Government officials, Congressional leaders and business and influential leaders on a wide array of issues.
The Delegation was led by the Minister of Finance and Development Planning, Mr. Samuel D. Tweah, and included the Minister of State for Presidential Affairs, Mr. Nathaniel F. McGill, the Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection, Mrs. Williametta Saydee-Tarr, the Minister of State without Portfolio, Mr. Trokon Kpui and the Mayor of the City of Monrovia, Mr. Jefferson Koijee. The Delegation was supported by Liberia’s Ambassador accredited to the United States, Mr. George S. W. Patten.
This is the Government’s first major visit to Washington since the outbreak of the Corona virus in December 2019. The Delegation aimed to update U.S. officials and Congressional leaders on the mid-term progress of the administration of President George Manneh Weah, discuss critical challenges and explore opportunities for deepening Liberia – U.S. partnership over the course of the next three years.
It held substantive meetings with several members of the United States House of Representatives. “These included Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA), Chair of the House Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs under the Appropriations Committee; Congressman Jim McGovern (D-MA), Co-Chair of the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission; and Congressman James Clyburn (D-SC), the Majority Whip and the third ranking Democrat in the United States House of Representatives,” it said.
The key successful areas among others were on: 1) Liberia’s recovery from the macroeconomic shocks of 2018 and from the subsequent COVID-19 pandemic and the Government’s evidentiary commitment to improving governance, fighting corruption, and preventing money laundering, terrorist financing and illicit financial flows; 2) Liberia’s investment opportunities and possibilities, the ambition to anchor Liberia-U.S. relations on American investment and on grounding Liberian tourism on the deep umbilical ties between Liberia and the United States, and the Government’s commitment to reforming the business climate, highlighted by the pending Judicial Conference on the investment climate and the planned Investment Forum in Washington D.C. under the auspices of the Liberian Embassy; 3) The state of Liberian democracy and the Government’s evidentiary commitment to upholding the tenets of democratic governance through the holding of free and fair elections, the guaranteeing of basic freedoms to assemble, protests or criticize and upholding of the fundamental human rights of all Liberians; and 4) a review of five year Compact with the Millennium Challenge Corporation and the drive for a second Compact through demonstrated governance improvements as gauged through the MCC Eligibility Scorecard and through the Government’s commitment to sustaining the impact investments under the first Compact.”
It can be recalled that early this month, the MCC closed its operations in Liberia after its time expired.
Later, it went further to meet with other top US diplomats.
“The Delegation also met with U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Mrs. Linda Thomas-Greenfield and held wide-ranging discussions with officials at the Departments of State and Treasury, the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) and the Development Finance Corporation. At the State Department, the Delegation met with Mr. Michael C. Gonzales, Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of African Affairs and with Madam Lisa Peterson, Acting Assistant Secretary and Mr. Scott Busby, Acting Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, both in the Department of State’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor. At Treasury, the Delegation met with Mr. Eric Meyer, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Africa and the Middle East. At MCC, the Delegation met with Mr. Mamoud Bah, Acting Chief Executive Officer and other members of senior management.”
In response, Congressional leaders underscored their commitment to helping Liberia and expressed thanks for the important updates provided by the Delegation. Congress woman Babara Lee promised to work toward leading members of the Congressional Black Caucus to visit Liberia, while Congressman Clyburn stressed the need to launch Liberia’s tourism ambition around the 200th anniversary of the landing of free slaves on the shores of Liberia, promising to work with the Government to achieve these aims. Congressman McGovern stressed the importance of the Government providing accurate information and updates on developments in Liberia to relevant Congressional leaders, showing particular appreciation for the updates provided by the Delegation.