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There is need for both the Executive and Legislative Branches of the Liberian government to collaborate in fighting the corruption virus that is gnawing the fabric of the nation’s coffers, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden has stressed during an address to legislators accompanying President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf in America.
He emphasized that it was necessary for the both branches to work together for “transparency, and in the fight against corruption and institution building.”
Senators Isaac Nyenebo and Geraldine Doe-Sheriff, as well as Reps George Mulbah and Wesseh Blamo are among the President’s entourage.
Also present during the meeting the Administrator of USAID, Mr. Rajiv Shah, who assured President Sirleaf that his Agency would operate differently in ensuring that projects are country-led.
A meeting between President Sirleaf and Secretary of State Hilary Clinton at the State Department underscored similar issues as discussed with Vice President Biden, in which she also spoke of her second-term priorities, especially making the Mount Coffee hydro plant operational.
Their discussions focused on Liberia’s new three-year, medium-term budget, the proper use of Liberia’s natural resources for the benefit of all Liberians, and the need to review the UN sanctions regime on Liberia regarding frozen assets and travel ban, among a wide range of topics.
Earlier at their meeting, President Sirleaf assert that Liberia’s laws are clear on the protection of the rights and choices of all citizens, and that those laws must be respected and implemented.
During President Sirleaf’s meeting with Vice President Biden at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, they discussed how to strengthen U.S.-Liberia bilateral relations through the establishment of a Bi-National Commission; the drawdown of UNMIL and the corresponding need to build up Liberia’s security forces, particularly the Police and Immigration.
According a dispatch from the presidential press secretary, both leader also discussed Liberia’s successes and challenges, amongst the latter being the need for infrastructure, especially electricity, promotion of national development, and how to address youth unemployment.
The President also underscored the need to restore the U.S. Administration’s proposed 15 percent cut in its appropriations to Liberia, U.S. support for Liberia in its effort to achieve Compact status under the Millennium Challenge Corporation Initiative, Liberia’s solidarity with other African nations fighting to preserve the third party fabric clause in the AGOA legislation.