Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has held talks in Washington with United States President, George W. Bush. The meeting which last more than half and hour, was held at the oval office of the White House. According to a dispatch from President Presidential Press Secretary, Cyrus Wleh Badio, who travels with the President, both leaders discussed issues of bilateral relations between the United States and Liberia.
At a Press briefing later with White Correspondents, President Bush thanked the Liberian President for her strong spirit and her deep desire to enhance democracy and improve the lives of all Liberians.
The U.S. promised to work towards ensuring the the country’s huge debt burden is settled. Debt relief for Liberia, President Bush noted, is part of his administration’s agenda. He said. That is the message he said, the US secretary of the Treasury will be taking to the International Monetary Fund at its meeting this week in Washington.
President Bush also praise the Liberian President’s commitment to universal education and promised that his government will support the education initiatives of government by providing increasing support for the educational sector of the country. “The United States believes that boys and girls get an education not only in America but around the world.”
The U.S. President expressed concern that children were dying due to malaria, and promised to set up a malaria initiative in Liberia to tackle the problem. Accordingly, President Bush said, a team will be visiting Liberia shortly to establish the malaria initiative throughout the country to help reduce the rate of deaths of young children
President Bush also announced the return of Peace Corps to Liberia shortly to help train Liberians educators, adding “the reason why we fell comfortable doing this is because of the leadership of this strong person right here,” pointing to the Liberian President.
For her part, President Sirleaf thanked President Bush for the support his administration continues to render Liberia. The President attributed the steady progress of her government to the support her administration continues to receive from the President and Mrs. Bush, as well the State Department, the National Security Council, the Treasury Department as well as the United States ambassador, Donald Booth. The spoke of the challenges the continue continues to face, but assured the President Bush that Liberia work towards becoming a post success story.
The Liberian leader also thanked the US President for including the country on the Special Education Initiative that would benefit three other African countries as well the granting of the Deferred Enforcement Departure to Liberians living in the United States, as they prepare their eventual return.
The President praised the role the US President played in returning the country to peace, adding, “we want to be part of your legacy; we want you to look back and say, when I was there, I helped Liberia to be a success, to come out of the ashes of war and be a successful economy, responding to the needs of the people.”
Following the White House meeting, the President later held talks with the Chair of the Foreign Operations Appropriations Committee, Nita Lowey, Congressman Jessie Jackson and Rhode Island Senator Patrick Kennedy who were been instrumental in ensuring an extension in the Temporary Protective Status for Liberians.
Source: The Liberian Government
© 2007 by The Perspective
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