The acting Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs at the State Department in Washington, DC, Peter Barlerin has paid a courtesy call on Vice President Joseph N. Boakai, who’s on a visit to that country.
Although the current US Administration has not named deputies at the State Department, however, there are reports that Secretary Barlerin is acting in place of former Assistant Secretary Linda Thomas-Greenfield, who previously served as U.S. Ambassador to Liberia.
During an acquaintance meeting, Mr. Barlerin and VP Boakai highlighted the need for further strengthening of the longstanding traditional relationship existing between their two countries.
They noted the critical importance for the prevalence of peace, rule of law, and tolerance in the process leading to Presidential and Representative Elections in October this year.
Taking note of the new US Administration’s expressed plan to reduce foreign development assistance, VP Boakai said he personally did not believe any country should rely largely on outside assistance for its social economic development.
He, however, urged that due diligence should be employed so as not to make the process too traumatic to poor nations.
Veep Boakai told Secretary Barlerin that most developing countries are striving to pull away from dependency syndrome occasioned by their donor driven economic situations and that the USA should come in as a positive hand in the transition.
Other top level US and Liberian officials present at the meeting were State Department’s Tony Alexander and Liberia’s Minister of Public Works Gyude Moore.
Meanwhile, a high power delegation of the Association of Liberian Journalists in the Americas (ALJA) headed by its National President, Moses D Sandy, yesterday met with the Vice President Boakai at the Hamilton Crowne Plaza Hotel in Washington D.C.
During the meeting, a wide range of issues affecting Liberia, including freedom of the press, the rule of law, among others, were discussed.