MONROVIA – Amid speculations regarding the presentation of letters of credence of the new U.S. Ambassador to Liberia, Michael A. McCarthy, the United States Embassy in Monrovia has clarified that Mr. McCharthy’s letters of credence are valid.
Responding to a FrontPageAfrica inquiry, the Embassy’s Public Affairs Officer, Michael Ardaiolo said, “Ambassador McCarthy’s letters of credence is valid. He is a career official of the U.S. Department of State. His appointment as U.S. Ambassador to Liberia, confirmed unanimously by the U.S. Senate after the election, is not affected by the change in U.S. administration.”
Mr. McCharthy was nominated by the then President Donald Trump in May last year.
At his confirmation hearing last August, he told the U.S. Senate that he would press the George Weah-led administration to change the damaging perception of corruption that has been dogging the government.
Mr. McCarthy to the U.S. Senate that he would devise a three-pronged approach toward making his case in getting his government’s attention in addressing the issue of corruption in Liberia.
Said Mr. McCarthy: “It is a very important issue and I would approach that from a three-part approach: Number one, we have embedded US Personnel experts, administrative experts in various ministries throughout the government of Liberia who are teaching their counterparts how to properly managed public funds.”
Mr. McCarthy at the time said, if confirmed, he would publicly recognized governmental and non-governmental organizations that are focused on pushing for anti-corruption which is the anti-corruption commission of Liberia and the auditor general of Liberia and will probably support those organizations wherever feasible.
Third and most importantly, he averred, he would be clear to the president, to the government, how central it is to change the perception of corruption in Liberia, not just for not just for private investment but also for things like the Millennium Challenge Corporation – if there are interests in additional compacts.
“We are just wrapping the MCC compact of US$257 million in Liberia that the kinds of things in Liberia that the president and people have been asking for, additional electricity, additional water and build roads. However, to get the compact from the MCC they will have to pass the MCC scorecard which I’m sure you’re aware, they have not passed in the last two years. So, I will highlight the absolute, essential importance of taking on corruption as a problem and resolving the problem and the perception of the problem – if they wish to move forward.”
However, presenting his letters of credence last Friday, Ambassador McCarthy thanked President Weah for his gracious letter to U.S. President Joseph R. Biden expressing congratulations on his inauguration, noting it was one of the first such messages from an African country.
The Ambassador underscored the honor of serving as U.S. Ambassador to Liberia, a country with which the United States shares a storied history and cherishes enduring bonds of friendship, partnership, and family. President Weah conveyed his appreciation to the Biden Administration for extending DED (Deferred Enforced Departure) status until June 30, 2022, noting that this action will provide time and relief to Liberians who have been in the United States for many years. Ambassador McCarthy hailed the extension as a sign of the longstanding partnership and friendship between the United States and Liberia.
Accompanied by his wife Sandra Acevedo McCarthy, Deputy Chief of Mission Alyson Grunder, and Defense Attaché LTC Matt Alden, Ambassador McCarthy highlighted the excellent collaboration between U.S. government agencies and Liberian health authorities in fighting COVID19 and expressed confidence the disease will be stamped out in Liberia with continued vigilance. He also noted the U.S. commitment to complete the new National Reference Laboratory as a state-of-the-art facility for infectious disease testing and research.
Both President Weah and Ambassador McCarthy agreed on the importance of nurturing Liberia’s youth and helping Liberia’s next generation of leaders meet their full potentials. Ambassador McCarthy noted that Peace Corps, USAID, and State Department educational and outreach programs
will continue to support our countries’ historic and important relationship, moving forward together.