House Speaker Talks Tough

-Says US President Errs To Have Exchanged Bout with Griner

By Mark N. Mengonfia

MONROVIA-The Speaker of the House of Representatives of Liberia, Dr. Bhofal Chambers has questioned the wisdom of United States of America President, Joe Biden for exchanging US basketball star Brittney Griner in place of notorious arms dealer Viktor Bout.

Russia freed the jailed US basketball star Brittney Griner recently in what was considered as a dramatic high-level prisoner exchange.

The notorious arms dealer Viktor Bout also known as “Merchant of Death” was held in a US prison for 12 years while the US baller spent almost 10 months in jail on drug charges.

The Liberian House Speaker said the arms deader; Bout should not have been exchanged in place of the US basketball.

 He spoke Thursday, December 15, 2022 at the first event of the dialogue to consolidate Peace, stability and development in Liberia convened at the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Congo Town.

In his view, the advice by US President to have done such an exchange was in the wrong direction.

Chambers said, “I do not think it was the right decision.”

“I think it would have been done another way around,” says Speaker Chambers although he did not say which way.

In his opinion, people should not be rewarded for causing mayhem around the world.

Looking in the direction of US Ambassador, Michael McCarthy, the Liberian House Speaker said, “This message goes to Mr. Biden that in the future when decisions are to be made, let there be some kind of objectivity of reaching that decision.”

“If the American Ambassador is here, I wish he translates that for us or refers that to the people of America” Speaker Chambers.

Additionally, he said, “We need peace around the world.”

Speaking about former US Senator, now President of the United States of America; Speaker Chambers said he admired Mr. Biden in 1986 when he took side with the South Africans many years back but he is taken aback that the same man he admired will take such a decision now.

The dialogue was attended by high core diplomats and government officials including US, German, ECOWAS, Chinese, and Gahanian ambassadors, Chief Dr. Jewel Howard-Taylor Minister Varney A. Sirleaf among other dignitaries.

Although US ambassador did not speak at the event but was seen having a discussion with Speaker Chambers after the dialogue.

Both Chambers and McCarthy talked and laughed during their side talk in the conference room of the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China.

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