MEMO TO THE PRESIDENT – Subject: Sort out Some Diplomatic Things in New York & Washington D.C. Before Return

Your Excellency!

It has been awhile since we last used this medium, our regular column “Memo to the President”, to interact directly with you. It is our pleasure we are back.

And for this instant Memo, we wish to draw your attention to some diplomatic glitches that are hampering your relations with the wider international community, particularly the United States.

For quite a while, your apparent failure to cement relations with the United States and other international world bodies since your ascendency to the presidency, has caused much criticisms and disparagement of your government’s image to date.

Your critics and opponents have thrown mud at you for being the only Liberian president in decades, besides wartime former President Charles Taylor, who has not visited the White House or hosted a very senior US government official in Liberia.

Even the junta leader, President Samuel K. Doe, did. He and Raegan had breakfast and dinner at the White House. And senior government officials of the US came to Liberia under his reign.

Of all presidents, if Samuel Doe could go on a state visit to the United States of America, despite his records upon taking state power and even after, then what about someone like you?

Yes, it is true that the period of Samuel Doe was the notorious East-West Ideological Wartime and America was scouting for allies in numbers and not in quality. But the point is this: there are no records whatsoever that portray you or your administration as being less American if not anti-American. So, what’s the problem?

It is an open secret your family is American. Your wife is an America. Timothy Weah is an American, and a foremost American soccer star. You lived in America. You went to school in the United States. Your family had or still holds business interest in the United States.

Besides, you credit yourself, and you are also widely credited, as a peaceful person. And you truly are. You are a Liberian president with a relatively better human rights and democracy credential. Under your administration, several high-stake bi-elections and midterm elections were held, where your party lost in some instances.

You hold no political prisoner. You are highly praised for being extremely tolerant; you allow insults to be spewed at you with out reciprocal crackdown. As per how swarms of citizens, urban and rural citizens, flock at you and your convoy whenever you step out, you still unarguably carry impressive amount of popularity.

Yet, with all these credentials, except for isolated outcry and accusations of corruption, which are most times not backed by prima facie evidence, you seem to be one of Liberia’s best presidents.

The questions are: Why is there not a better bond of friendship between your administration and the United States. Why are you not making serious diplomatic breakthroughs, five years counting? Do you care to check it out? Are you not worried about it?  Are you not weary with the embarrassments that come to you at times?

Yes, it is true President Joe Biden has invited you to attend the December2022 Democracy forum. But that is not the White House invitation that came to your predecessors. That is not a one-on-one state visit to the White House.

Thus, Mr. President, we besiege you to do something quickly and substantively, particularly while you are still in the United States. Make deliberate moves to seek answers from experts and friends of Liberia while you are there.

Don’t leave it with your foreign service people. They have long let you down.

We ask that, in addition to the town hall meetings which we understand you may have in the United States in the next few days, please ask what people are hearing about you amongst policymakers in Washington.

With your own ears, seek answers from anyone you can reach right now to see if there are issues that Washington has with you which you may not know and would like to work on for improved relations.

Perhaps there are issues people, including your Foreign Service officials, are not reaching to you for their own reasons. Or perhaps it could be that there are no issues with you in particular but that the failure, the incompetence or the sinister acts of your trusted officials could be cause.

Your Excellency, if there is anything we wish you achieve on your UNGA trip, it would be using your stay, however short, to find ways by which you trace any problem or issue hampering your relations with the US.

Whether we like it or not, the US is the Electoral College in Liberia’s elections that affirms the popular vote, the Liberian electorate.

If there is anyone doubting this, let them ask Charles Taylor. If anyone doubts, let me reflect on the woes of three officials of your administration who resigned recently just by the mere commentary published by the US Treasury Department—commentary because it was just bundles of allegations and lamentations devoid of evidence.

Thanks for your time.  

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