Ambassador Malac Assures Liberia of US Commitment

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United States Ambassador Deborah Malac has assured Liberians that her country remains committed to the long-lasting relationship between the two countries and will do its best to build a Liberia that is at peace with itself and its neighbors, and offers economic opportunity to all Liberian citizens.

Making the commitment on July 3, 2014 at the Executive Pavilion during celebration of America’s 238th Independence, Ambassador Malac recalled that the partnership between Liberia and the United States is a long and enduring one that manifests itself in many ways, touching a broad range of activities.

She mentioned electricity as one area of interest to the U.S. in terms of making it available in every part of Liberia.

Considering Liberia’s past and acknowledging the need for collective efforts in building a nation that Liberians want, the US Ambassador noted that building a bright future is no easy task, but 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 can drive innovative solutions and are a necessary component of a vibrant democracy — but it does require public discourse marked by civility and respect.  We can agree to disagree while continuing to work together in the best interests of the country,” she stressed.

Furthermore, the US Diplomat stated “Another’s 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,” Ambassador Malac noted.

She told the people of Liberia that sustainable, broad-based development and true economic prosperity do not happen overnight, but require  sustained commitment and concentrated focus and lots of patience.

She noted that the administration of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf Liberia has made progress, but there is much more to do to deliver the promise and benefits of peace and prosperity to all Liberians.

Recalling some areas where the United States Government has demonstrated its commitment to Liberia, the US Ambassador mentioned the 2nd session of U.S.-Liberia Partnership Dialogue, the visits of Counselor Tom Shannon and Deputy Secretary of State Heather Higginbottom, the  selection of 15 young Liberians to participate in President Obama’s Young Leaders Initiative (YALI) summer fellowship program, and the invitation of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit scheduled for early August.

The ambassador listed some activities through which the U.S. has previously demonstrated its commitment to Liberia. These include Liberia’s recognition as as one of only six Power Africa Initiative countries; the transfer of leadership of the new Armed Forces of Liberia to a Liberian officer corps; and new patrol boats for Liberia’s Coast Guard.

There are also ongoing programs to support agriculture, education and healthcare delivery; the Center for Disease Control (CDC); and the Department of Defense and USAID assistance to GOL for Ebola response are other areas of commitment.

President Sirleaf:

Beginning with quotations of former U.S. Presidents,  President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf congratulated the people of the United States for their 238 years of existence as a nation and noted that it took sacrifices and commitment to reach where they are.

She said as people who have experienced years of turbulence, Liberians are championing their own journey to freedom, noting, “If we have to succeed, we need to do what is right not only for ourselves but for the prosperity of all.”

The President said the journey is not perhaps to sacrifice with blood but with sweat to make change possible.  She added that for Liberians to succeed everyone must demonstrate commitment and be willing to give more and not less so that the next generation will be better.

Liberia and the United States have remained deeply joined together in partnership and relationship over the long years of existence, she recalled, and expressed commitment to nurturing this bond through collaborations and partnership dialogue.

President Sirleaf acknowledged that Liberia continues to benefit from U.S. gesture in areas of security, accountability and other essential needs to the country. 

She also counted on U.S. commitment to selecting Liberia as one of the power countries to be a welcoming development and called on that Government to live up to it to provide light to all parts of Liberia.

The U.S. Independence Day celebration at the Executive Pavilion was attended by Government officials including the Chief Justice Francis Korkpor and members of the Judiciary, Senate President Pro-Tempore Gbehzohngar Findley, members of the House of Representatives, Ministers and heads of agencies and public corporations, and the Doyen and Members of the Diplomatic Corps.

The United States of America gained its independence on July 4, 1776 with George Washington becoming its first President.  The celebration in Liberia on July 3 is basically due to time difference between Liberia and that country.

Liberia being five hours ahead in day light will be approaching the 5th of July when Americans are celebrating the anniversary on the 4th.

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