U.S. Embassy Admits to Sending Foreign Affairs Ministry Diplomatic Note Requesting Sample Specimen of Travel, Identity Documents

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MONROVIA – The U.S. Embassy in Monrovia has issued another communication admitting that it actually sent the Ministry of Foreign Affairs a Diplomatic Note, as part of its routine diplomatic correspondence, requesting fully completed sample specimens of travel, identity, and other official documents issued by Liberia.

But was quick to point out that at no point in time did it send the Foreign Affairs Ministry of an official Diplomatic Note, or any other communication, with the request to acquire a sample or specimen of the 2023 national voter registration card.

Amid reports that the U.S. Embassy had requested the Foreign Ministry for a sample of the 2023 Voter ID Card, the Embassy in a statement issued on Monday, September 12, 2022, denied ever making such a request.

The Embassy wrote in a press statement: “At no point in time did the Embassy send the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Liberia an official Diplomatic Note, or any other communication, with the request to acquire a sample or specimen of the 2023 national voter registration card.  We understand that no decision has yet been made on awarding a contract for the biometric system, but that the process is ongoing and, according to the press, the Public Procurement and Concessions Commission (PPCC) is examining potential contracts.”

This raised eyebrows in some quarters, especially in the wake of the Elections Commission confirming that it received the extended request for the specimen from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

 In two separate communications from Deputy MinistersThelma E. Duncan Sawyer (dated August 1, 2022) and Henry B. Fahnbulleh (dated September 1, 2022) obtained by FrontPage Africa, both acting as Minister on these specific dates, informed NEC Chairperson Davidetta Brown Lansanathat the Ministry has received a Diplomatic Note from the Embassy of the United States of America near Monrovia requesting a specimen of the national voter registration card.”

In each of the letters, the officials requested the NEC Chairperson to respond in order to revert to the Embassy in a timely manner.

However, in its latest press statement dated Wednesday, September 14, 2022, the U.S. Embassy said its previous denial of requesting asample or specimen of the 2023 national voter registration card is correct, but with clarity.

Below is the U.S Embassy‘s press statement dated September 14, 2022.

On Monday, September 12, the Embassy issued a press statement denying having ever sent the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Liberia an official Diplomatic Note, or any other communication, with the request to acquire a sample or specimen of the 2023 national voter registration card.

That statement is correct; however, we wish to issue a clarification. In July of this year, the Embassy did send the Ministry of Foreign Affairs a Diplomatic Note, as part of its routine diplomatic correspondence, requesting fully completed sample specimens of travel, identity, and other official documents issued by Liberia.

The Department of State makes this request to all countries in the world as part of our continuing effort to prevent fraudulent use of international travel, identity, and civil documents.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs correctly passed this request to the various government entities responsible for producing those documents, including the National Elections Commission (NEC).

The letters published in the press from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs are neither forged nor nefarious, but rather routine diplomatic correspondence that had no connection to the NEC’s important work in procuring new biometric voting systems.

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