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IMF boss postpones visit to Liberia

A planned visit of the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund or IMF, Christine Lagarde, to Liberia, initially scheduled for July 16-17, has been postponed, according to an official of the Fund.

In a communication written toHouse Speaker J. Alex Tyler Tuesday, July 14, IMF Resident Representative Dr. Charles Amo-Yartey, informed lawmakers that the visit of Director Lagarde was postponed due to some unforeseen circumstances.

The communication noted that the Liberian Lawmakers will be informed when a new date for the visit is confirmed.

“We are certainly grateful to you and the Honorable House of Representatives for the acceptance to have received the Managing Director”,the letter read.

The House of Representatives Tuesday unanimously agreed to honor a request by the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, Christine Lagarde, to meet with that august body.

The House plenary reached the decision following reading of a letter from President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to Speaker Tyler, dated June 29, and read in Session on Tuesday, informing the Lower House about the planned visit of Madam Lagarde to Liberia from July 16 to17.
In the letter, President Sirleaf told the legislators that Madam Lagarde will use the visit to gain a deeper understanding of Liberia’s post-Ebola challenges, and discuss with key stakeholders opportunities for partnership support to the country.

According to the Liberian leader, the IMF Managing Director has expressed a particular desire to engage the Liberian Legislature, adding, “In view of the above, I ask that you honorMs.Lagarde’s request by convening a Joint Session of the 53rd Legislature to provide her the opportunity for this engagement.”

President Sirleaf also indicated that the IMF is a key international financial institution, with Liberia’s membership dating back to the 1960s.

“It is a key partner to Liberia, working through the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning and the Central Bank of Liberia or CBL. This support is largely achieved through programs that provide Balance of Payment support to CBL”, she emphasized.

President Sirleaf also noted that the IMF provided exceptional support to Liberia during the Ebola crisis.

In another development, the House of Representatives has concurred with the Liberian Senate in ratifying the “Agreement for the Establishment of Africa Corporation” based on recommendation by the House Committee on Foreign Relations on Tuesday, July 7.

The agreement signed by all African Heads of State on May 28, 2007 in Abuja, Nigeria, was turned over to the Liberian Senate for ratification on July 11, 2011.

After thorough analysis, the Liberian Senate ratified the agreement and forwarded it to the House of Representatives in September, 2013 for concurrence. By Ben P. Wesee – Editing by Jonathan Browne

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