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Liberia's President to Speak Tuesday at Bush's Summit on International Development


U.S. President George Bush hosts a summit on international development Tuesday in Washington. The summit is expected to focus on the administration's core principles that have transformed the U.S. approach to international development by linking development assistance to results.

Among those attending Tuesday's summit are U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, musician and activist Bob Geldof and Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. President Sirleaf is expected to introduce President Bush for his remarks.

Lawrence Bropleh is Liberia's minister of information. He told VOA the special invitation to President Sirleaf is an indication of President Bush's admiration for the Liberian President and her style of governance.

"President Bush believes that Liberia, under President Sirleaf's integral leadership is quickly becoming a post-conflict success story. The United States has got long-standing relationship with Liberia, has invested a lot in Liberia's recovery through its funding of the United Nations mission in Liberia, and because of the kind of leadership that President Sirleaf has brought, the World Bank has talked about her governance style, about her fight on corruption, and it has increased the kind of attention that Liberia has gotten. And President Bush appreciates that, and so he believes that as he's about to leave office, it would be a good thing to have one more visit from President in other to talk about where Liberia is going and how the United States can continue to be a key partner in Liberia's development," he said.

President Sirleaf, who according to the White House will be introducing President Bush, will speak on the importance of country ownership and good governance.

Bropleh said President will talk about good governance as the landmark of any nation in trying to be post-conflict success story.

President Sirleaf will talk about Liberia's journey and how we have tried to change the landscape in terms of our own reforms, in terms of the governance that has come out of Liberia, trying to fight corruption, trying to decentralize power. She will be sharing Liberia's story and linking it to the rest of the world," Bropleh said.

President Bush will leave office January 2009, and Bropleh could not say whether the Bush administration whether President Bush has made promises to the Liberia that have yet to be fulfilled.

"The United States is a credible government. Its leadership, especially with President Bush, has been one that you know you take their word to the bank. You know that Representative Jesse Jackson, Jr. introduced a bill into the U.S. Congress that would give Liberia well over 200 plus million dollars. President Bush and Mrs. Bush, as you know, have got this malaria initiative and Liberia is a beneficiary. The President Sirleaf visit to the United States will also be capitalizing on this, and as we say, bringing home the bacon from the United States as it relates to improving our health care delivery system," Bropleh said.


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