The Minister of National Defense, Brownie J. Samukai, has lauded the Congress, the people and government of the United States of America for their unwavering support to Liberia before, during and after the Liberian civil crisis.
Minister Samukai recounted the historical ties which, over the years, have developed into a strong bond of friendship between the governments and peoples of both countries as demonstrated by United States’ massive support to Liberia’s defense sector.
He made specific reference to US Congressional appropriations through the Foreign Military Financing Program (FMFP), an immense benefit that Samukai said has enabled Liberia’s military institution to purchase defense related products, services, and training from the US.
He also noted with deep appreciation the US Government’s support to the Liberian defense sector through the Expanded International Military Education and Training (IMET) programs.
“These programs have helped our military and civilian personnel in terms of training in the US and other foreign locations,” Samukai said.
He described as “outstanding and remarkable,” the US Government’s support to Liberia in the areas of peacekeeping and peacebuilding.
On the issue of United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) drawdown and the task of national security ownership, Samukai said the drawdown served as a wakeup call for strengthening of the national security sector, noting that the United States Government’s support to Liberia’s security sector in general has impactfully repositioned the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) for the task which lies ahead.
Minister Samukai made these remarks on Friday, August 12, when the US Congressional Delegation headed by a member of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Senator Edward Markey of Massachusetts, paid a courtesy call on him at his Barclay Training Center office at the UN
Drive. Other members of the delegation were Representatives Karen Bass of California and Carolyn Maloney of New York.
For his part, Senator Markey described as “heightened hospitality,” the reception accorded him and his delegation and expressed confidence that the 2017 elections in Liberia will demonstrate Liberia’s preparedness to remain on the trajectory of democracy, which will witness a smooth transfer of authority.
The US delegation’s visit to Liberia is part of the delegation’s travel itinerary to several countries aimed at assessing a wide variety of the US Government’s efforts in the areas of military-to-military and law enforcement partnerships, democracy and governance activities, and education and other programs that contribute to stability.