Monrovia — President George Weah for the first time will be invited by the President of the United States of America since the inception of the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) led government more than four years ago.
As President of Liberia, Weah has only been in the United States of America three times to attend the United Nations General Assembly.
Because of that, critics say the Weah government lacks the strong diplomatic ties the United States government had with the Liberian government in the past years.
Speaking at Liberia’s 175th Independence Day program at the Centennial Pavilion Tuesday, the United States Ambassador to Liberia Michael McCarthy disclosed to President Weah that the US President Joe Biden has invited his present at the upcoming US-Africa Summit.
“So Mr. President, please allow me to reiterate that President Biden would be honored for you to accept his invitation to attend the U.S. – Africa Leaders’ Summit in Washington, DC in December. It will be a fitting end to an amazing year for Liberia,” Ambassador McCarthy disclosed.
The American Ambassador who began by reading a text message from American President Joe Biden said the United States and Liberia from their existence have shared history.
“We hold many values and concerns in common. We believe human rights are paramount and must be defended at all costs, our leaders must be accountable to the people, corruption has no place in public or private life, and economic opportunity is vital to a functioning democracy,” he said.
“The United States stands together with Liberia as we strive to advance the ideals from which our countries were created and continue in our never-ending efforts to become more perfect unions. We join you in celebrating Liberia’s freedom and independence this July 26,” Ambassador McCarthy ended the reading of the message from US President Joseph R. Biden Jr.
According to the Ambassador, the celebration of Liberia’s Independence Day is notable in the history of not only Liberia and the United States, but all of Africa, as the continent’s first independent republic.
“From its inception on this continent, Liberia represented something new and hopeful, just as America – from which it sprang – represented something new and hopeful on the American continent,” he said.
Pres. Weah Accepts US President Joe Biden’s Invitation
Also speaking upon hearing the news, President Weah said his government acknowledges with profound gratitude the special relationship subsisting between Liberia and the United States of America.
The Liberian Leader was quick to assure the United States of America through the US Ambassador of his presence at the US-Africa Summit in Washington D.C.
“To good friend McCarthy, please inform President Biden that I received and accepted his invitation to attend the Summit in Washington D.C. I will be there to represent the Liberian people,” he said.
According to President Weah, the United States of America and Liberia are connected. He added that it is very clear from Liberia’s history that the People of the United States of America have goodwill towards Liberia and Liberians, and the feeling he says is mutual.
The goodwill, President Weah said, was manifested by the decision of the American Government to make a commemorative plaque that was given to Liberia on the occasion of our Centennial Celebration on July 26,1947.
He added: “And now today, at this celebration of our 175th Independence Anniversary; we have just witnessed the resubmission of that plague to the Government of Liberia by the American Ambassador to Liberia H.E. Michael McCarthy.”
Pres. Weah: “We extend profound thanks and appreciation to the Government and People of the United States of America for the recognition and solidarity. I am optimistic that the two Governments and Peoples will continue to embrace each other in harmony and love.”
According to the President, the 175th Independence Celebration this year is unique because it also coincides with another major national milestone, which is the observance and celebration of Liberia’s Bicentennial, marking 200 years since its founding.
“These large numbers which define our continuous existence as a body politic are genuine and valid reasons for celebration,” he said.
Let the Love of Liberty Unite Us Here -President Weah says
At one point at the event, President Weah called on Liberians to put off disagreement and division and put on the spirit of unity, love, reconciliation, peace, stability and nationalism. “We must respect and love one another,” he said.
Quoting the motto of the Liberian Nation which states that “The Love of Liberty Brought Us Here”, President Weah calls for total unity among Liberians as the country celebrates 175th year of independence.
Fellow citizens, let me tell you this, some say that the love of liberty brought us here; others say that the love of liberty met us here. I say today to all Liberians, hear me and hear me well. Whether it brought us here or met us here, let that love of liberty unite us here,” President Weah said.
He added: “Yes, we may have differences, but we are proud of the ties that inspire our unity. So let us join ranks and consolidate our resources as a Nation and People, so as to uphold the legacy that our forefathers have passed on to us, because there is so much more that unites us, than divides us.”
Maintaining sovereignty, the President says is the most successful achievement Liberia has made as a nation adding that it is now the collective responsibility of every individual to sustain the peace, security, and stability of this first independent nation in Africa.
“Fellow Citizens, we must advance its credentials for good governance, democracy, human rights, and the rule of law; as well as its core values and principles,” he said.
Also at the 175th Independence Day Celebration, His Excellency Mr. Umaro Sissoco Embaló, President of the Republic of Guinea-Bissau, and Chairman of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of the Economic Community of West African States, His Excellency Mohammadou Buhari, President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and His Excellency Mr. Adama Barrow, President of the Republic of the Gambia were the three Heads of States to grace the occasion.
The Liberian Leader called for a standing ovation as a sign of respect to the three Heads of State of the Economic Community of West African States.
“Thank you very much, Your Excellences. Liberia and Liberians will always remember and be grateful for the friendship, high esteem, and regard that you have shown towards us today. For my part, I pledge to continue to work closely with you, as we together strive to maintain peace and security within our region, and promote policies and programs that will bring development and prosperity to the citizens of ECOWAS,” President Weah said.
Supporting of Pres. Weah’s Pro-Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development
Mawine G. Diggs, Minister of Commerce was the National Orator of the 175th Independence Day Celebration. While speaking, she calls on her colleagues in every sector in government to desist from what she terms as romanticizing the genuine challenges they are faced with as a government.
Madam Diggs added that it is a known fact that the challenges were inherited. However, by assuming their respective roles as government officials, it is their commitment to alleviate the challenges in support of President Weah’s Pro Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development (PAPD).
“Let us therefore desist the desired attempts to show off our literary brilliance and instead act. Let us work for the people of Liberia. Let us ensure that such actions manifest in every sector, including respect for the rights of women. Our nation is currently acclaimed for breaking the glass ceiling in this regard therefore we must continue to forge ahead and not pay lip service or relegation. That my fellow Liberians would be a true travesty,” Minister Diggs said.