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Liberian President Meets With President Obama

US President Obama and his Liberia counterpart Ellen Johnson Sirleaf meet in the Oval Office, Washington, D.C., 27 May 2010

U.S. President Barack Obama has met with visiting Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf at the White House.

Mr. Obama commended Sirleaf's leadership, noting her country's recent history of civil war and political strife.

He praised her efforts to refocus the country on development and fight corruption, and pledged U.S. support for those efforts. He also said the U.S. will continue to work with Liberia to fight international drug trafficking

Ms. Sirleaf noted Liberia has maintained peace for seven years now and is reopening the economy, working on bringing down its debt, and restoring infrastructure.

She said her country still faces challenges such as unemployment and flaws in the judicial system. And she thanked the U.S. for its support.

The Liberian leader met earlier in the day with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to discuss elections next year in the West African nation.

After their talks Wednesday, Clinton said the two also discussed Liberia's effort to implement judicial and police reforms as well as to fight official corruption.

She said the United States is a partner with Liberia in promoting democracy and good governance.

The West African country is trying to rebuild following back-to-back civil wars from 1989 to 2003.

Liberia has historically had close ties to the United States. It was founded by freed American slaves in the 1800s.