8 February 2013

Liberia: Foreign Ministry Rubbishes Media Report

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has described as false and misleading, the banner front page headline in the FrontPage Newspaper under the title: "Foreign Ministry Mute On Allegations Against Paris Mission Chief": 'Ambassador McKinley Thomas' Brutality', in which it was reported that Ambassador Thomas took out the teeth of an Embassy staff in 2009.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs categorically states that it is unaware of any incident of such nature as alleged, and reported by the FrontPage Newspaper involving Ambassador Thomas, is therefore not in receipt of any complaint from any Liberian organization in Paris to that effect.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs reaffirms its full confidence in Ambassador Thomas, and considers him as one of Liberia's finest and most effective post conflict diplomats. He has maintained outstanding character and comportment throughout his long tenure as Liberia's representative in Paris.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has noted with dismay numerous published articles which are tantamount to a smear campaign against Ambassador Thomas, with the aim of assassinating his character and destroying his excellent reputation. This smear campaign may also be construed as intended to tarnish the image of the Republic of Liberia in France where Ambassador Thomas ably represents it.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs further states that it has no report, either from the Ambassador or the French Government concerning any incident of assault, adding that there would have been a situation report from the French Police through the French Foreign Ministry to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Liberia had such incident occurred.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs states that it is taken aback by the publication by the FrontPage Newspaper for failing to contact the Ministry or Ambassador Thomas to balance its report. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs also wants to make it abundantly clear that Ambassador Thomas did not just show up in Monrovia as the FrontPage Newspaper tries to portray, but rather is on official diplomatic assignment duly approved by the Minister of Foreign Affairs. Ambassador Thomas was one of the official delegates at the just ended High Level Panel held in Monrovia.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs warns Liberians in the Diaspora to be mindful and respectful of the character of individuals and the country even when they have grievances to express. The Ministry also calls on the media to carefully counter check information before releasing same.

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