Monrovia, Liberia – The Office of the Presidential Press Secretary is alarmed by a series of misinformation, misrepresentation, and unbalanced reportages by the likes of opposition figures and in a few media outlets regarding President George Manneh Weah’s current engagements abroad.
Particular attention is drawn to the lack of respect and indiscipline exhibited by Mo Ali who is attempting to sow a seed of discord between the Executive and Legislative Branches of Government. In one account, without the fear of God, he calls the President a liar.
Unfortunately, the Liberian opposition forces and their apologists have continued to field unfounded lies and propaganda that the Liberian Chief Executive left the Country on October 31. Amongst these elements is journalist Mr. Jonathan Paye-Layleh, who has announced his ambition for a political position in Liberia. Paye-Layleh once fed the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) with barrages of half-baked information, opinionated reports, and blatantly misleading BBC that Dr. George Manneh Weah left Liberia before writing the National Legislature.
Others have misleadingly contended that the President’s scheduled visit to Qatar was to watch his son play at the World Cup with no benefit to Liberia.
The Office of the Presidential Press Secretary wishes to state for the record that the President’s trips are official international engagements that began with the timely notification of the 54th Legislature and that the trips have been netting tremendous benefits for Liberia.
President Weah left Liberia on November 1, 2022, via a Special Flight arranged and paid for by the King of Morocco, King Mohamed VI.
The Morocco visit, in which the President participated in this year’s MEDay’s Forum that brought together over 5000 world leaders and civil society activists, paid off almost instantly with a number of commitments: a USD 50 Million investment package from the Government of Hungary; 25 scholarships for deserving Liberians from the Government of Hungary; the transformation by Tangier Mediterranean Port Authority of the National Port Authority; and flights from Liberia to Cape Verde and Southern Africa.
The President’s foreign travels this month also included participating in the UN Global Climate Change Conference held in Sharm el-Sheikh in Egypt, dubbed COP27. Liberia, as a member of the comity of nations and front burner affected by the impact of climate change, made a strong case that is extracting commitments in millions of dollars.
Prior to going to the Paris Peace Forum, President Weah joined World Leaders on November 6, 2022, at COP27 otherwise called the United Nations Global Climate Change Conference in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt.
Lest the ill-fated opposition and unpatriotic elements forget, let it be stated that President Weah was selected by his African Counterparts as Climate Change Champion at the Glasgow Conference, COP26 held in 2021. As a result, the Liberian Chief Executive was given the distinguished honor to delivering a speech at COP27 at which time he called on world leaders to fund countries bearing the brunt of climate change while preserving their biodiversity like the Guinea Forest.
Apart from tens of millions of United States Dollars intended for these countries, including Liberia, SAMCO, an Egyptian Firm, has agreed to construct the roads between Greenville and Buchanan and Zwedru and Greenville.
If these mentioned are not cogent benefits for the country, then the Doubting Thomases need to account for their mental state.
On November 9, 2022, the President departed Egypt for France for the Paris Peace Forum (PPC) and other engagements from November 11 – 15, 2022.
Firstly, President Weah participated in the Paris Peace Forum from November 11 – 12, 2022, and held a bilateral meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron and with other development partners. He also held a town hall with the Liberian Community in Europe.
It must also be noted that following the Chief Executive’s presentation at the Forum, which ended on November 12, His Excellency Dr. Weah had a bilateral meeting with the French President, Emmanuel Macron on November 14, 2022. The Liberian Leader also held meetings with partners and the Liberian Community in Europe.
Liberia’s TVET program received over ten million euros following the President’s previous participation in the Paris Peace Forum and opened doors for more French involvement in the development process of Liberia.
It is disheartening but not surprising to note that misguided people misreport the President’s engagement as being mere fanfare without benefit to the country despite all the good news widely publicized from the travels.
While the Liberian Leader’s peers were flying on charter and private flights to Qatar, he boarded a commercial flight, Qatar Airways, to Doha on November 18, 2022, and not November 15, 2022, as being falsely paraded by opposition elements in the name of politics. The November 18, 2022 flight was the only available one then.
All the President did was for the sake of Liberia. He’s involved with all these international engagements for Liberia’s development at every given opportunity he has had while traveling, and saving the nation’s resources.
The President’s trip to Qatar is far more than to watch his son play in the World Cup Tournament. It is important to remind those who have quickly forgotten that President Weah once served as Ambassador for the Qatar World Cup Bid and is a proud member of the Federation of International Football Association (FIFA) Hall of Fame. Furthermore, the Liberian Leader was invited in triple capacities to Qatar: State visits (bilateral meetings); Former World Cup Bid Ambassador, and FIFA Hall of Famer.
For those who may not know, it is important to mention that President Weah has had the opportunity to watch a couple of past World Cups.
Previously, on an invitation from FIFA and South Africa and Brazil, he watched the World Cups in South Africa (2010), and Brazil (2014), long before he became President.
It is therefore disingenuous and mere propaganda on the part of detractors to say that the President’s Qatar World Club trip is to watch his son play.
It is also noteworthy to state that while in Qatar for the reasons already expressed, the President would be proud, as any good father would be, to see his child play, though it is only a coincidence.
Which real or serious parents would not be proud watching their children play at the world’s most prestigious tournaments, let alone the FIFA World Cup? Only wicked parents or envious people who don’t have a son or daughter would do so.
On the margins of the World Cup, President Weah is having engagements with partners and the business community in Qatar including a planned bilateral meeting with His Highness, Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani before his departure to Monaco on November 29, 2022.
In Monaco, Dr. Weah will meet the Prince of Monaco and address the Sports for Development Forum.
Following his engagement with the King of Monaco, President Weah will head to the United States of America on December 3, 2022, for Joe Biden’s African Summit.
The President lands in Miami for meetings with some American Investors who are interested in exploring Liberia’s cordial and virgin business environment.
At the end of those engagements, the President heads to New York for a couple of meetings, including a meeting with the Head of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Achim Steiner.
During that meeting, it is hoped that Liberia and the UNDP will finalize arrangements for community-driven initiatives funding.
And on December 13-15, 2022 comes the Biden Africa Summit which the opposition bitterly doesn’t want to see happen with President Weah attending.
In addition to the summit, President Weah is expected to hold bilateral and multilateral meetings with Joseph R. Biden and other leaders attending the Biden African Forum—another nightmarish experience Liberia’s frustrated opposition cannot afford to watch.
Liberians are assured that as the President continues his international engagements, his beloved country, Liberia, reigns prominently on his mind and that he would spend every second of his time to scout for and bring back benefits, as is often characteristic of his travels, for the people of Liberia.
The Office of the Press Secretary will keep the Liberian public informed on developments as they occurred.