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US Secretary of State Clinton challenges Liberia

In Liberia this week, US Secretary of State Hilary Rodham Clinton said continued US support will be guided in Liberia by the Obama Administration's confidence in the power of the Sirleaf Administratio

US Secretary of State Clinton challenges Liberia

In Liberia this week, US Secretary of State Hilary Rodham Clinton said continued US support will be guided in Liberia by the Obama Administration’s confidence in the power of the Sirleaf Administration to deliver – to pass relevant legislation aimed at fighting corruption, to enforce the rule of law, and to cultivate self-reliance.

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Visiting US Secretary of State Hilary Rodham Clinton has praised the Liberian government for charting a clear roadmap to recovery, but she says it is time for more actions and implementation if US aid must continue.

Secretary Clinton made the assertions yesterday when she addressed the media and the 4th Joint Session of the National Legislature separately to articulate the Obama Administration’s policy toward Africa in general and Liberia in particular.

Welcoming the US chief foreign policy implementer earlier, President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf expressed gratitude for Liberia’s inclusion on her itinerary.
“We look forward to continuing to carry out our part of the bargain to move Liberia forward, open society, democracy, accountability, transparency, developing our country through proper use of our natural resources. And we also look forward to her support and the United States support of our endeavors as we seek to achieve our national development goals,” President Sirleaf said.

She told the visiting US Secretary of State that corruption that has long influenced underdevelopment in Liberia has been uncovered and was currently being dealt a death blow.

“We have already adopted anti-corruption strategies, we have tried to strengthen the institutional [capacity of] The Anti-Corruption Commission. What we now need is to enforce and to implement all of those laws and institutional arrangements that we have put in place. We now need for the public and the media to recognize the progress and to join us in this fight, which is not limited to government… Together, we will win, we will slay this monster,” the Liberian leader said.

While her administration does not enjoy direct US budgetary support as a matter of law, US money transferred to Liberia through NGOs have greatly supplemented the government’s efforts in each of its four pillars in the poverty reduction strategy.

“You see roads being constructed, you see buildings … you see farms starting to operate again,” she said regarding the impact of US aid to Liberia, which Secretary Clinton says stands at a little over US$2 billion.

In response, Mrs. Clinton praised the Liberian leader for providing what she called great leadership for Liberia, a country coming fresh out of war and destruction. She said the US government believes that there is a great future for Liberia’s development and that it was prepared to stand by the government and people of Liberia to achieve that future.