German Chancellor Merkel Visits Liberia - Promises More Assistance

Sunday, 7th October 2007
Chancellor Merkel accorded traditional welcome by Chiefs and leaders.
Chancellor Merkel accorded traditional welcome by Chiefs and leaders.
Photo Credit: James M. Garresen, II/Executive Mansion

Monrovia, Liberia - President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf says German Chancellor Angela Merkel's visit to Liberia is a recognition of the Liberian government's efforts to move the country forward.
According to an Executive Mansion release, the President spoke on Sunday at the Foreign Ministry when she received the German Chancellor, Mrs. Angela Merkel, who was on the last leg of a three-nation African tour.

Chancellor Merkel said she and the Liberian leader have made progress since their last meeting in Berlin, Germany. The German Chancellor expressed her governmentís commitment to helping rebuild Liberia. Germany, Chancellor Merkel said, has every interest in helping Liberia sustain itself. The German leader said her country will continue to play a leading role in Liberiaís campaign toward debt cancellation. Chancellor Merkel expressed her governmentís desire to do whatever that country can to ensure that Liberia enjoys a good and prosperous future.

Speaking later at a reception tendered in honor of the German Chancellor and delegation, the two leaders recalled the long standing relationship between Germany and Liberia and expressed the hope that the visit of the German leader will further strengthen the friendly ties between the two countries.

Germany has, meanwhile, announced that it is making available more than five million US dollars toward Liberiaís Infrastructure Trust Fund, set up to support the reconstruction of the country. Last May, Germany announced a contribution of nearly fifteen million U.S. dollars toward the Fund during President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf's visit to that country. Chancellor Markel promised to encourage other countries to contribute. Germany has also promised to assist Liberia plan its transport sector.

In a press conference hosted by the two leaders, President Johnson Sirleaf later told reporters that Germany was also making available three hundred thousand bed nets to help Liberiaís fight against malaria.

On the upcoming European Union-Africa Summit, the German Chancellor said cooperation between Europe and Africa was too paramount and said she hoped the controversy over the participation of Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe would not overshadow the Summit.  The Chancellor made it clear that all African countries should be invited to the Summit.

The German Chancellor and her delegation have left the country for home. The delegation departed the country Sunday night and was seen off at the Roberts International Airport by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and senior officials of government. Sundayís visit to Liberia marked the first by any German leader to Liberia since the 1960s. Chancellor Merkel was rounding up a three-nation African tour which took her to Ethiopia, South Africa and Liberia.