High Power Firestone Delegation Pays Courtesy Call on President Sirleaf

Monday, 21st January 2008
Welcome to the Executive Mansion Press briefing.

  • Let me begin by informing you that a high power delegation from Firestone has paid a courtesy call on President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. The meeting between the President and the Firestone executives took place Monday morning at the Foreign Ministry offices of the President. The delegation was headed by the Chairman & Chief Executive Officer of Bridgestone Americas Holding, Inc., Mr. Mark Emkes; the President of Firestone Natural Rubber Company, Limited Liability Company (LLC), Mr. Dan Adomitis and Mr. Charles Staurt of Firestone Liberia.

During discussions with the President, the Firestone executives said they look forward to the early conclusion of the negotiations between the Company and Government. The Firestone executives informed the President that the Company will soon commence the processing of rubber wood, an additional vital component of the Company.  As part of the three day visit, the Company’s Executives have been touring sites at Firestone and inspecting ongoing improvements at the Plantations.

  • President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf will next Monday deliver her Annual message in an address before the Joint Session of the National Legislature. The President’s address will, among issues, concentrate on development projects being undertaken by Government and give a fiscal overturn of the Government.  The President will report on legislations that have been submitted to the lawmakers and those that have been passed into law.  She will also report on proposed legislations aimed at the revitalization of the economy, improving security, good governance and the rule of law.

  • As you may have heard, the President was in the Burkinabe capital, Ouagadougou on Friday to attend the 33rd summit of Heads of State and Government of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). A number of measures were adopted at the end of the summit, including an endorsement of an emergency plan for energy supply, with the leaders calling for the exploration of alternative energy sources in the region to enable it offset its shortages in the shortest possible time, particularly in rural areas.  Full details on the communiqué issued at the end of the summit, are contained in a Press release our office issued on Saturday.

The Burkinabe meeting also considered the situation in neighboring Cote d’Ivoire and Guinea in the context of regional peace and security. During separate discussions between President Sirleaf and the Presidents of Sierra-Leone, Ernest Bai Koroma and the Chairman of ECOWAS, Mr. Blasé Campaore, the leaders agreed on the need for continued engagement with the political leaderships of both Guineas and Cote d’Ivoire, to enhance the gains made in agreements that have been reached among the parties to ensure progress.

While in Burkina Faso, the President also received in audience the former President of Zambia, Mr. Kenneth Kaunda.  Mr. Kaunda praised the President for the level of progress her government has made and expressed the hope that government will not relent in its drive to reconstruct the country.  

  • By way of announcement let me inform you that the President will Tuesday participate in programs marking the launch of the UNICEF’s State of the World’s Children Report for 2008, at the Ministry of Gender in Monrovia. The President will also tour the Morris-American Rubber Company New Factory, in Todee District, Margibi County on Tuesday.

Those are the few issues we have and will be glad to take your questions, if any