The NEWS (Monrovia)

18 July 2014

Liberia: 'U.S. Gov't Recognizes Dual Citizenship'

As the debate on dual citizenship intensifies in Liberia, the United States Government says it recognizes individuals with such status.

Ambassador Deborah Malac told The NEWS Wednesday in an exclusive interview that there are a number of people in the United States who carry more than two passports.

When asked about her government's position on the presence of American citizens working in the Liberian Government, this is how she responded: "We do not comment on the issue of citizenship or residency status of any individual. In general, the U.S. is a country that recognizes dual citizenship; we don't have the same kind of structures that the Constitution of Liberia has, so the discussion of dual citizenship is an issue the United States treats very differently."

There have been mixed views about Liberians with U.S. passports working in the Johnson-Sirleaf administration.

Some Liberians are opposed to individuals carrying U.S. passports and at the same time Liberian passports while others welcome dual citizenship.

There are several Liberian government officials with dual citizenship, a report President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf has since confirmed.

President Johnson-Sirleaf, in an interview with UNMIL Radio recently, admitted that many persons in her government are dual citizens.

The President's son, Robert Sirleaf, is alleged to be a citizen of the United States.

However, there are indications that Mr. Sirleaf may have renounced his U.S. citizenship for which he declared his intention to contest the senatorial election.

Sometimes ago, Representative Edwin Snowe alleged that Robert Sirleaf is a U.S. citizen but days after, Snowe said his allegation was the work of the devil.

Early this week, a document believed to be a U.S. passport bearing the photograph of Ambassador George M. Weah was posted on Facebook.

It is yet to be established whether Mr. Sirleaf and Ambassador Weah are dual citizens of Liberia and the United States.

However, Ambassador Malac explained that a number of people in the United States probably within the U.S. government carry more than two passports for various reasons.

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