4 October 2013

Liberia: Top U.S. Official Hints - U.S. May Soon Lift Sanctions On Several Liberians

The United States is in the advanced stages of reviewing sanctions imposed on some Liberians for their involvement in the Liberian civil crisis and may soon de-list some of those affected.

U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Africa, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, made the assertion when Liberia's Foreign Minister, Augustine K. Ngafuan, met with her at the State Department in Washington, D.C. on October 2, 2013.

Ambassador Greenfield was responding to remarks by Minister Ngafuan, in which he followed up on President Ellen Johnson- Sirleaf's request to the U.S. Government to review the U.S. sanctions list comprising Liberians, many of whom have already been de-listed from the U.N. sanctions list.

Minister Ngafuan added that the lifting of sanctions by the U.S. Government may aid Liberia's current reconciliation drive and thereby enable more positive contribution to the development and progress of the country.

Ambassador Greenfield also welcomed efforts being undertaken by the Liberian Government and people regarding the issue of dual citizenship. She stated that Liberia stands to benefit enormously from dual citizenship, given the abundant human capital of Liberians in the Diaspora.

Minister Ngafuan also spoke of the enormous progress that has been made by the government and Liberians in the Diaspora in creating awareness about dual citizenship. He was hopeful that a common ground may soon be achieved on the varying perspectives of dual citizenship. He said that a legislation to the effect may be tabled to the National Legislature in due course.

Earlier, Minister Ngafuan briefed Assistant Secretary Greenfield about Liberia's progress and challenges, particularly pointing out that Liberia recently celebrated 10 years of uninterrupted peace.

"On behalf of the Government and people of Liberia, we wish to thank our international partners, particularly the United States, which has stood firmly with our country in the restoration and consolidation of peace," he indicated.

Minister Ngafuan underscored the special historical ties subsisting between the U.S. and Liberia, and praised the United States Government and people for providing critical support to Liberia during this process of reconstruction.

He also briefed the Assistant U.S. Secretary of State for Africa on regional and sub-regional issues, particularly efforts involving Liberia, to ensure stability in the West African sub-region and Africa as a whole.

For her part, Ambassador Greenfield underscored the importance of U.S.-Liberia relations, and pledged that the United States will continue to be a true partner of Liberia.

Earlier, Minister Ngafuan congratulated Ambassador Greenfield for her recent appointment and stated that Liberians generally were happy as they view her promotion as an achievement also for the country.

Ambassador Greenfield's last diplomatic assignment outside the United States was in Liberia.

Foreign Minister Ngafuan was accompanied to the State Department by Liberia's Ambassador to the United States, His Excellency Jeremiah C. Sulunteh, and the Minister Counselor for Press and Public Affairs at the Embassy of Liberia near Washington, D.C., Hon. Gabriel I.H. Williams.

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