President Sirleaf Congratulates France on 218th Independence Anniversary

Sunday, 15th July 2007
President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and French  Ambassador Jacques Gerard.
President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and French Ambassador Jacques Gerard.
Photo Credit: James Garresen, II/Executive Mansion
Monrovia, Liberia - President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has spoken highly of the relationship between France and Liberia, dating back to well over a century.  Speaking Saturday on the occasion marking the 218th anniversary of the independence of France, the President pointed out that Franco/Liberia relation has arisen with the reopening of its Mission in Monrovia after 14-years of civil strife, with a Resident Ambassador. The decision the Liberian leader noted has strengthened the relationship between the two countries in the areas of Health, Education, Security Reforms and infrastructure Development.

The President recalled her visit to France in May following which that country has supported Liberiaís effort in the training of Nurses, Doctors, and Teachers as well as the reopening of the Alliance Francaise Institute, to provide opportunities for Liberians to learn the French language. France, the Liberian leader also recalled, has been one of the first countries to express confidence in this government by granting more than one-million dollars for budget support, adding, ďa few others are following your bold and welcomed move.Ē

The President also spoke of a goodwill visit this year to Liberia of the French War ship Commandant LíHerminier at the Freeport of Monrovia to sustain peace, and the visit of a 25-man high level French business delegation to assess investment opportunities in Liberia, describing the visits as clear manifestation of the strengthening of bi-lateral relations between Liberia and France. The President hoped that the visit of the French business delegation would lead to cooperation and investment in the areas of Transportation, Road Network, Hotel industry, Port management, Logistics, and Mining,Ē an Executive Mansion release quoted the President as saying.

On the significance of the French National Day, the Liberian leader emphasized the universal application of the ideals of freedom, equality, and fraternity which have served as a foundation upon which France was built. France, President Johnson Sirleaf continued, has stood for many years as a land of opportunity, freedom, and brotherhood; principles which have also inspired the founding of Liberia 160-years ago.

The President then reaffirmed governmentís commitment to socio-economic change, good governance, the rule of law, accountability, transparency, and Human rights in Liberia, with the assurance that her government will continue to pursue the aspirations of the Liberian people.

For his part, the French diplomat accredited near Monrovia, Ambassador Jacques Gerard, welcomed the long standing ties between Liberia and his country and pledged to work towards solidifying the already strong bilateral bond between the two countries.

In a separate development, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has welcomed the increasing role women continue to play in national development. The President observed that Liberian women continue to break taboos as the country moves forward, and has urged women legislators in the National Legislature to take bold steps to promote those virtues that affect the lives of Liberians, particularly women.

The President spoke on Friday at the Monrovia City Hall when she served as Keynote speaker and Chief launcher of the Women Legislative Caucus of the 52nd Legislature. The Liberian leader paid tribute to the market women of Liberia and called on the female legislators to ensure that their welfare is protected. The Chief Executive also urged women legislators to promote women causes as well as national concerns.

Delivering her inaugural address, the Women Legislative Caucus Chairperson, Montserrado County Representative Alomiza Ennos-Barr pledged the caucusís commitment to working for the welfare of the entire Liberian citizenry.

Also present at the launching were the Speaker of the House of Representatives Hon. Alex Tyler, Senate Pro-Tempore Hon. Isaac Nyenabo, and members of legislature, cabinet ministers and officials of pro-democracy groups in the country.