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Since it emerged from 14 years of civil war in 2003, Liberia has worked hard to reconcile its population, to create a democratic government, to hold free elections and battle corruption.
"The future of Liberia is up to the Liberians," said U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton during her visit:
"Today, Liberia is a model of successful transition from conflict to post-conflict, from lawlessness to democracy, from despair to hope. For the last 3 years, the people of this country have been working to promote reform, reconstruction, and reconciliation. Liberia has adopted sound fiscal policy and seen strong economic growth."
Secretary of State Clinton congratulated Liberia on decreasing its debt, as well as on its strong economic growth.
But now the country stands before a crossroads, and the future will be determined by which path Liberia chooses, said Secretary of State Clinton.
"Although Liberia has made impressive strides in passing strict anti-corruption laws, it must take the next step and implement them. Because corruption is a cancer that eats away at the strength of institutions and the confidence of people in their government, and their societies," said Secretary of State Clinton:
"Ending corruption is necessary to growing and sustaining such institutions, and restoring the public's trust. ... You have to have codes of conduct, regulatory frameworks, ethical standards that guide the pursuit of the common good."
Secretary of State Clinton stressed that economic progress depends on sound economic policies, adherence to the rule of law and good governance. That is why the U.S. will contribute $17.5 million for programs to help Liberia ensure that the elections of 2011 are free and fair.
"The United States believes in Africa’s promise and Africa’s future," said Secretary of State Clinton, "and we particularly believe in the promise and future of Liberia."
"The people of Liberia have proven their strength, their resourcefulness, and their resilience," said Secretary Clinton. "They hold their own future and the future of their country and their children in their hands. But the people of the United States are proud to stand with them ... in working to deliver the kind of future that the people of this country deserve."