Liberia: President Weah Returns From Israel Satisfied - Comments On L$16b Investigation Report

President George M. Weah.

Tuesday, 5th March 2019

Monrovia, Liberia - President George Manneh Weah says his four-day official state visit to the State of Israel was successful and rewarding as his administration has gotten multiple commitments from the host country to support a variety of development programs, including providing training and transfer of technology to bolster Liberia's agriculture sector.

Addressing reporters Sunday, March 3, 2019 upon arrival at the Roberts International Airport (RIA), the President said the trip was largely triggered by his government's desire to explore possibilities for aggressive agriculture activities towards ensuring food security and the fight against poverty in Liberia. He recalled that the visit followed a meeting he had with partners at the Ministry of Agriculture last month aimed at finding ways to boost agriculture production.

"You may recall that I visited the Ministry of Agriculture sometimes ago to discuss with officials of the ministry and agriculture stakeholders to look at ways we could promote the sector because it has enormous potential to create employment opportunities for the Liberian people and boost our economy," the President said.

President Weah told reporters he used the visit to Israel to call on Israel, a traditional friend, to help stimulate Liberia's agriculture since that country has enormous capacity, innovation and knowledge in the sector.

"We went to Israel to talk about how they can help us develop the sector in order for us to be self-sufficient in food production," President Weah said further, revealing that Israel's Agency for International Development and Cooperation, MASHAV has agreed to help build the capacity of Liberians as a way of growing the sector.

The President also said his meetings with Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Reuven Rivlin were rewarding.

He noted that he used the opportunity to rally Israel's support and expertise in helping Liberia develop its agriculture sector, and how the two countries could work to rekindle their existing ties.

The President also used the moment with reporters at the RIA to briefly comment on the findings of investigations into the alleged disappearance of LS16 billion. He said he was pleased that the Liberian people now know the truth of what happened.

"I, first of all, want to thank our partners, mainly the US Embassy for accepting to probe into this issue because I wanted the Liberian people know that we are transparent," the President noted.

President Weah indicated that the only way Liberians would believe in the process was to involve international partners.

"The Liberian people now know that L$16 billion did not get missing," the President stressed. "Whatever happens from findings, we will follow it because in the process of getting information, a lot of things do come out."

President Weah expressed hope that the process would be transparent and those already held culpable will be given due process, emphasizing, "When everything is done, I hope Liberia will be in peace and people will not take to the streets again."

The President reassured Liberians that he came to the presidency not to put the country into jeopardy but rather to improve the lives of the citizens and keep the country peaceful.

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