United States Ambassador to Liberia, Christine Elder, has reassured that the diplomatic relations between Liberia and the United States will continue to hold even after the current leaderships of both countries.
Ambassador Elder gave the assurance at a program marking the 240th Independence Anniversary of the United States. She said: “The United States will remain a dedicated partner for Liberia. Election cycles this year in the United States and next year in Liberia will not change that. We are fully invested in Liberia’s promise, and will support efforts to see that promise realized.”
Ambassador Elder said: “We will remain focused on helping Liberia develop its infrastructure, namely its electrical grid and roads.”
She said President Obama’s Power Africa initiative will help expand the electrical power grid in Monrovia, while building capacity and providing support to key energy sector institutions. However, she cited the Millennium Challenge Corporation Compact as a program that will improve the roads.
Additionally, Ambassador Elder said United States remains focused on supporting Liberia’s effort to strengthen its healthcare system.
“We continue to help Liberia build resilient health systems through the Global Health Security Agenda to prevent, detect, and respond to infectious disease threats. We are also helping to expand laboratory capacity so that Liberian scientists will have the ability to conduct tests in the country,” she noted.
Reduction in infant and maternal mortality rates, according to the US Ambassador, remains a key priority to the United States and other partners.
She further indicated that as the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) draws down, the US will continue its support to the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) and the Liberia National Police, adding, “We will continue to be engaged with partners at the UN, in the Liberian government, and the international community to determine the pace of UNMIL’s continued drawdown and retirement, and a possible transition to a presence, providing support for the 2017 elections.”
Ambassador Elder said supporting Liberia in its democratic transition is meant to make it a strong voice for democracy in West Africa and among African Union states.
Furthermore, she said the pending 2017 election is an opportunity for Liberians to demonstrate to the world her continued stability and adherence to the rule of law.
She said it also provides the opportunity for Liberians to carefully elect a person with vision of unity, peace, democracy and accountability that will move the country forward.
So far in West Africa only Ghana, Nigeria and Senegal have had peaceful democratic transitions in recent years without political crises.
The 240th Independence Anniversary of the United States is usually celebrated on July 4, but was celebrated on July 13 for reasons not disclosed.
The celebration was attended by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Speaker Alex Tyler and Chief Justice Francis Korkpor.
In her remarks, President Sirleaf acknowledged the role of the US in Liberia’s post-Ebola development and even America’s strategic intervention during that period of catastrophe.
She also acknowledged recent assistance rendered the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) by the United States with 20 vehicles and two boats.
She, however, urged the newly accredited US Ambassador to reactivate the US-Liberia Partnership Dialogue that seeks to discuss educational issues confronting the country.
President Sirleaf termed the education situation in the country as “crucial,” and emphasized that tackling it will rebrand the future of Liberian youth and poverty will be reduced in line with government’s Agenda for Transformation.