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3rd U.S. – Liberia Partnership Dialogue Scheduled for November

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Liberia and the United States are to hold the 3rd US-Liberia partnership dialogue scheduled to take place in November, this year in the United States; two political officers of the U.S Embassy near Monrovia have disclosed this.

The US – Liberia Partnership Dialogue that discusses critical bilateral issues of mutual interest between both countries.  A Foreign Ministry release said, the disclosure was made Wednesday, September 7, when the two political officers paid a courtesy call on the Acting Foreign Minister, Mr. B. Elias Shoniyin.

The two political officers, Ms. Rachel Meyers and Ms. Sara Greengrass, informed the Acting Minister that they are in Liberia to ascertain both the political and security situation in the country.
During their meeting with Acting Minister Shoniyin, Ms. Rachel Meyers disclosed that the US Embassy near Monrovia has gotten an update from the U.S. Under-Secretary of State for African Affairs, Ms. Linda Thomas Greenfield, that discussions were underway for the resumption of the US – Liberia Partnership Dialogue to be held shortly in the United States after the 71st session of the UN General Assembly in New York.

Ms. Meyers added that the decision to push the Dialogue to November was to allow high level officials of the two governments attending the UN General Assembly make appropriate representation at the Dialogue without interference with other events taking place in September and October at the UN. She said the high level participation of the two sides would enable the two governments evenly discuss relevant bilateral issues of mutual interest.

She told Acting Minister Shoniyin that the unique bilateral ties between Liberia and the United States need to be refreshed and strengthened, hoping to work collaboratively with the Foreign Ministry and the Government to enhance the existing cooperation between the two countries.

Ms. Meyers said while here, she will be looking at US – Liberia relations focusing on policy differences and at the same time looking at the progress being made in the areas of domestic politics, as well as judicial, legislative, political and military issues. She also intends to listen to ordinary Liberians and get their views on various aspects of development taking place in Liberia.

For her part, Ms. Sara D. Greengrass, who accompanied Ms. Meyers, informed the Acting Foreign Minister that her mission to Liberia focuses primarily on issues concerning human rights, gender, disability and marginalized groupings, especially those who are under- privileged to have access to education.

She indicated that her tour will include assessing human rights reports and labor issues including the ones highlighted by Liberia itself, and looks forward to working collaboratively with the Liberian Government to ensure that her assignment here will be fruitful.

Receiving the team, Acting Minister Shoniyin welcomed the two US officials and assured them that his ministry would work collaboratively with them to make their tour of duty in Liberia very productive. He, at the same time, looks forward to a cordial working relationship with the US Government through its embassy here and urged the two political officers to call on relevant departments in the ministry whenever they need assistance.

Commenting on the upcoming Partnership Dialogue, the Acting Minister welcomed the move to hold the Dialogue in the US despite the multiple schedules associated with September and October this year on the part of the Liberian Government to hold other discussions. “We welcome and appreciate the environment where both sides can have an appropriate high-level engagement,” the minister stressed.

In response to the statement by the two political officers concerning human rights and democracy including political freedom, the Acting Foreign Minister assured the US team that as a democratic society on the African continent, Liberia will observe all the tenets of democracy.

He stressed that under the current administration, Liberians are enjoying an atmosphere of freedom which allows them to openly and freely express themselves without intimidation and harassment by state authorities, emphasizing that the culture of silence is deeply affecting other societies on the African continent.

Talks on the Partnership Dialogue Agreement began January 15, 2013 in Washington D.C., when President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton signed the landmark statement of intent establishing the U.S. – Liberia Partnership Dialogue Agreement.

The agreement established working groups in three key areas: agriculture, food security, and human development with an emphasis on creating more economic opportunity for the Liberian people; as well as focus on the development of country’s energy and power infrastructure.

Its Inaugural Meeting was held four months later in Washington. D.C. when on May 7, 2013 the two countries committed to continued collaboration to improve Liberia’s policy enabling environment for food security and nutrition through laudable interventions including from the U.S. Government’s Feed the Future Initiative.

The Second Session of the U.S.-Liberia Partnership dialogue was held in Monrovia on March 3-4, 2014.

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