President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and George W. Bush hold talks in Washington

Wednesday, 14th February 2007
US President George W. Bush and President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf at the White House in Washington.
US President George W. Bush and President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf at the White House in Washington.
Photo Credit: Ousman Diallo/Executive Mansion
Washington DC, USA – President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, has held talks with American President George W. Bush, at the oval office in Washington, DC. Addressing the media following their meeting, President Bush called on the International Community to follow the U.S. lead by ensuring debt relief for Liberia.

President Bush has accordingly directed the Treasury Department to work along with other nations to tackle and ensure debt relief for Liberia.
President Bush praised the Liberian leader for the progress being made in improving the lives of the Liberian people. “I am impressed with your spirit of commitment and dedication to the development of your country; we will stand with you to help you achieve your goals,” the US President assured President Johnson Sirleaf.

President Bush praised Liberia’s young democracy and said such new democracies can work towards changing lives for the better.
The President has meanwhile, announced a new initiative, authorizing the Treasury Department to provide funding through the International Monetary Fund to provide the Fund, to work with other nations in facilitating the cancellation of Liberia’s debt.
Responding, President Johnson Sirleaf thanked the government and people of the United States for their support towards Liberia recovery. The President informed President Bush of progress during the first year of her administration. The President said her government has achieved important first steps, including the restoration of some basic facilities and getting people back to school. The government, President Johnson Sirleaf said is committed to doing even more.

“We have set the country on the course to recovery; progress is beginning to happen,” The 3.7 billion dollar debt, the President said is a major impediment to the country’s development drive. “We want to get it off our back to expand the progress we’ve made and accelerate development programs,” the President emphasized.
President Johnson Sirleaf said Liberia could not have made the progress it has made without the support of President Bush and Congress, which she acknowledged is bi-partisan.
The President earlier met with some leading members of Congress, including the Head of the Foreign Relations Committee; Ross Feingold; Senator James Inhofe, a ranking member of the Committee on Environment and Public Works. The Senators praised the President for her leadership and assured her of their support towards legislations involving Liberia.
The President continues her meetings on Thursday with leading members of Congress including a meeting with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and a bi-partisan 12-member Congressional delegation.