President Weah Invited to Visit Washington

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President George Manneh Weah has received an official invitation from the United States government to visit Washington, DC.

Making the disclosure on July 26, at the official celebration of Liberia’s 175th Independence Day, Michael McCarthy, Ambassador of the United States accredited near Monrovia said President Joe Biden is looking forward to receiving President Weah in Washington at the African Leaders Conference.

McCarthy, who hailed the longstanding and traditional bilateral relationship existing between Liberia and the United States of America, said while there are challenges, Liberia has made some significant strides, mainly in efforts to protect democracy by ensuring there is freedom of the press, free speech and democratic electoral processes.

The African Leaders Conference is expected to take place in Washington in December this year.

The U.S. Ambassador presented a special gift in artwork depicting the inseparable connection between America and Liberia.

The painting, done by Liberian artist A. Leslie Lumeh, was commissioned by the U. S. Embassy and is a historical piece that was originally done in bronze by American sculptor Harris Lewis Raul.

McCarty conveyed President Biden’s letter to President Weah through his speech in which the U.S. President said: “The United States and Liberia have been linked from the very beginning of our shared history. We hold many values and concerns in common. We believe human rights are paramount and must be defended at all costs, our leaders must be accountable to the people, corruption has no place in public or private life, and economic opportunity is vital to a functioning democracy.”

He added further from the communication that America stands together with Liberia as both countries strive to advance the ideals from which they were created and continue in their never-ending efforts to become more perfect unions.

From his personal perspective as the highest ranking official representing the United States in Liberia, McCarthy said: “I am delighted to be present in Liberia today to help celebrate this important anniversary.

“It is a notable day in the history of not only Liberia and the United States, but all of Africa, as the continent’s first independent republic. From its inception on this continent, Liberia represented something new and hopeful, just as America – from which it sprang – represented something new and hopeful on the American continent.”

McCarthy reflected that “This reality was captured in Abraham Lincoln’s most famous speech – the Gettysburg Address – in November 1863, which begins with those now famous words “Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.”

He added that Like America, Liberia was conceived in liberty and like America, Liberia struggled to make that equality of all men a reality.

“Throughout the decades, we’ve seen both our countries progress in their struggle to embody these words and to become safe havens for all people,” he said to thunderous applause from the audience, including Presidents Muhammed Buhari of Nigeria, Adama Barrow of The Gambia as well as the President of Guinea Bissau and other high ranking foreign guests gathered at the Centennial Pavilion in Monrovia.

McCarthy added that President Lincoln’s words serve as a reminder that democracy is a constant struggle “toward a more perfect union” and that it is never a given, and it can never be taken for granted, noting further that both Liberia and the U.S. have to remind themselves that democracy is more than just a well-written constitution or norms and traditions, but it requires care and constant renewal, and leaders who understand that their actions and words matter in maintaining a democratic society.

“We are gathered here at a time when democratic norms are eroding around the world. But such challenges also represent opportunities. Just as America continues to fight back in response to challenges to our democracy, Liberia continues to set an evolving example of democracy in Africa,” he said.

He concluded to a thunderous, standing ovation when he said: “Mr President, in closing, please allow me to reiterate that President Biden would be honoured for you to accept his invitation to attend the U.S. – Africa Leaders Summit in Washington, DC in December. It will be a fitting end to an amazing year for Liberia!”

It is about five years since President Weah came to power in Liberia, yet he has not been invited to any official event hosted by America and on American soil.

Although the Liberian President has been to New York on two occasions marking the UN General Assembly’s meetings for politics, it becomes worrisome to any leader who is in charge in Liberia but does not get the support of the US Government.

As Weah was the next in line to speak, he barely wasted any time conveying to President Biden through the U.S. Ambassador, his gratitude for the invite and assured him that he will certainly be present in America to attend the conference and meet with Biden at the White House.

The Liberian leader acknowledged the cordial relationship subsisting between America and Liberia and expressed gratitude for America’s continuous support to the development programs of his country.

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