The Inquirer (Monrovia)

7 July 2014

Liberia Re-Elected to Benefit From MCC - Says U.S. Ambassador At Country's Natal Day Celebration

United States Ambassador accredited to Liberia, Deborah R. Malac has disclosed that Liberia has been re-selected as eligible for continued compact development by the Millennium Challenge Corporation.

Speaking at the 238th anniversary of the Independence of the United States of America held at the Executive Pavilion on Broad Street, Ambassador Malac said that President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf has been invited to the U.S- Africa Leaders' Summit in the U.S.

She stated, "It requires unity of effort, a shared vision and a commitment to the common good. This does not mean that there must always be complete agreement on every policy decision, alternative or dissenting views that can drive innovative solutions and are a necessary component of a vibrant democracy. But it does require public discourse marked by civility and respect".

Ambassador Malac further stated that another success or opportunity should not automatically unleash unfounded invective, but should serve as a model of what is possible to achieve through joint effort.

"The wheels of progress cannot turn forward if they are constantly blocked by the stones of pettiness and personal attack whose sole purpose is to prevent things from happening or to preserve political or personal advantage," she said.

She disclosed that the transfer of leadership of the new Armed Forces of Liberia to a Liberian officer corps is a significant milestone in the U.S. rebuilding of the AFL. She stated that there are ongoing programs to support Education, Agriculture and health care delivery.

Also speaking at the ceremony, President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf said her government remains committed to a leadership of transformation in which every Liberian will give more, not less, and that the next generation will be better than the previous, considering that all Liberians bear the scars that freedom and democracy can inflict.

"After our country's years of turbulence, we, in Liberia, have renewed our own journey to freedom, liberty, democracy and prosperity. The strong examples of America's travel to greatness are not lost upon us. We know that if we are to succeed, we must remain courageous to do what is right not just for ourselves but for posterity," she stressed.

The Liberian leader said Liberians must sacrifice - perhaps not with blood, but with sweat - to make the change possible. She emphasized that over the course of 150 years of bilateral relations, Liberia and the United States remain bonded by deep ties of friendship, partnership and kinship and together, they have taken extraordinary steps in strengthening the bonds through partnership dialogues and other initiatives that are mutually beneficial to both countries.

"We recommit ourselves to continue to explore avenues for greater cooperation and collaboration," the Liberian President reiterated.

President Sirleaf citied the upcoming US-Africa Leaders Summit, hosted by President Barack Obama, to which Liberia has been invited.

Touching on other areas of cooperation and assistance that the country continues to benefit, the Liberian leader named security, accountability, health, education, agriculture, and human capacity development.

"We applaud the contributions of the Peace Corps Volunteers and their support of the Twinning Program which is providing young Liberian graduates the opportunity to work with Volunteers in teaching assignments across the country," she noted, adding government has already begun to see the results of these efforts.

President Sirleaf also cited the US Government's recent assistance when the Liberian Government undertook the first rotation of its troops deployed in the African-led International Support Mission to Mali (AFISMA). "We are proud of the quality of the services provided by our soldiers, and remain grateful to the U.S. for the training and other logistical support which not only made the mission possible, but also enabled an important transformation of our country from being widely considered an exporter of war to an exporter of peace."

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