28 June Press Briefing Notes

Monday, 28th June 2010
Members of the Press:

Welcome to another Executive Mansion Press Briefing session.

Let me begin by providing you some information from the Office of the President relating some important events the President will be undertaking this week.

  • As you may know, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) met in Washington, D.C., last week and announced that Liberia has successfully completed all steps for the countryís debt to be written off.  The World Bank meets in Washington tomorrow, June 29th, to reach its decision on the Liberian debt situation.  The President is optimistic that the World Bank will confirm the decision of the IMF regarding Liberia having reached the HIPC Completion Point.
Accordingly, the President will address the nation tomorrow, Tuesday, to provide more details on the debt issue, specifically the unfolding developments in Washington regarding the implications for the country.

  • A commission set up last year by the President to find an amicable solution to the land dispute among the people of Nimba County has now completed its work.  The commission, headed by businessman Musa H. Bility, will present its report to the President at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, June 30, here in the C. Cecil Dennis Auditorium. The Nimba Legislative Caucus, among others, is expected to witness the presentation ceremony, to which you, the members of the Press, are invited.

  • Her Royal Highness Princess Maxima of the Kingdom of the Netherlands arrives in the country today, June 28, to begin a three-day visit. The Princess, who has been appointed by the United Nations Secretary-General as his Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance and Development, is heading a 7-member delegation that includes the Princessí Personal Secretary, Ms. Bahia Tahzib-Lie; the Ambassador of the Netherlands to Liberia, H.E. Gerben de Jong; and the Senior Policy Specialist, Ms. Amina Tirana, among others.
Princess Maxima will pay a courtesy call on President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf on Tuesday, June 29, at the Foreign Ministry. Other activities of the Princess include meetings with United Nations officials in Liberia; senior Finance Ministry and commercial banksí executives; and an interaction with key micro-finance institutions at the RLJ Kendeja Resort.  The Princess will also visit the Cuttington University College for an interaction with graduate students of the institution.

  • A United States Congressional Delegation, headed by North Carolina Congressman David Price, arrives in Liberia on Sunday, July 4, for a three-day official visit.  Other members of the delegation are: David Dreier, a ranking Republican Member from California; Donald Payne of New Jersey; Allyson Schwartz of Pennsylvania; Keith Ellison of Minnesota; Mike Conaway of Texas; Vern Buchanan of Florida; and Patrick Kennedy of Rhode Island.  Congressmen Price, Schwartz, Conaway, and Buchanan will be accompanied by their spouses on the trip.
While in the country the bipartisan Congressional Delegation will meet with, among other Government personalities, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf on Tuesday, July 6, at the Foreign Ministry. The delegation is also scheduled to meet with the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President Pro Tempore of the Liberian Senate.

The Congressional Delegation will, upon arrival, tour the Firestone Rubber Plantation in Margibi County and meet with county officials, including legislators. While in the country, the delegation will also participate in programs marking the Independence Anniversary of the United States of America.

  • Arrangements are being concluded to allow the President to attend an ECOWAS Summit in Cape Verde later this week. Due to the difficulties associated with travel between Liberia and Cape Verde, it is still not clear whether the President will attend the Summit, which is being called to discuss a new leadership for the Organization for next year.  Nevertheless, a Foreign Ministry delegation, headed by Minister Olubanke King Akerele, has already left to lay the groundwork for the Summit.
Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has been invited by the ECOWAS authorities to attend the Summit. President Lula has been designated one of four persons to present a paper at the Summit. Should she be able to attend, President Johnson Sirleaf will use the opportunity to follow up bilateral discussions held between the two leaders.  During President Johnson Sirleafís visit to Brazil in April, a number of agreements were signed between the two countries.

  • Reinforce an admonition to drivers to stop intruding in the Presidential convoy.