Thursday, May 27, 2010

President Sirleaf meets President Obama at the Whitehouse.....

President Barack Obama today praised Liberia's progress against poverty and corruption, saying its neighbors can learn from its emerging dedication to democracy.

Obama welcomed President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf on Thursday for an Oval Office visit, praising her for leading Liberia after its brutal civil war.

Obama met Sirleaf in the Oval Office, and pledged the United States would stand with Liberia at every step of the way of its democratic development.

"I have been an extraordinary admirer of her work for many years now.... The United States and Liberia are close friends, longstanding partners, and Liberia is now emerging from a very difficult period," Obama said.

"Part of the reason it has been able to emerge is because of the heroism and courage of President Sirleaf."

"She is committed to the rule of law, made strides in reforming the judiciary and in all these endeavors I want to make sure the people of Liberia understand... that the United States is a constant friend and partner."

Obama said Sirleaf's example should be taken as inspiration to other African nations including, Guinea, Ivory Coast and Niger.

Sirleaf said her country had made important progress, and she thanked Obama for his and America's support.

Africa's first elected female head of state, Sirleaf said that she would not hide the fact that Liberia had challenges, but added that all basic freedoms were alive in her country today.

"We said that we were going to make Liberia rise again. I come today on behalf of the Liberian people to say that we have made a lot of progress," she said.

"We have been able to maintain peace for seven years now."

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Delta airlines to start direct flight to Monrovia in September.....

Delta Air Lines Inc. said Tuesday it will again begin once-a-week service between Atlanta and Monrovia, Liberia, in September of 2010.

The flights between Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and Roberts International Airport in Monrovia will stop in Accra, Ghana.

Delta, based in Atlanta, had planned to start the flights last June, but they were delayed while the airport in Monrovia was brought into compliance with international aviation standards.

Delta said the service will begin Sept. 4 and use Boeing 767 aircraft with 34 premium seats and 181 seats in coach.

The airline said Liberian aviation officials and have approved the flights, and U.S. regulators have given preliminary approval. Delta has operated in Africa since 2006.

The new service between Atlanta and Monrovia will be welcome by Liberians in both Countries....

In a statement issued by Delta, Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf said her government was enthusiastic about the first direct flights to the United States in several years.

Delta had hoped to launch Liberia flights in June 2009 but had been awaiting government approval since then.

The Transportation Security Administration pulled the plug on the planned route launch last year because the Monrovia airport did not meet international security standards. Also last year, Delta's planned inaugural flight to Nairobi, Kenya last year was canceled amid terrorist threats.

On Tuesday, Delta announced that it had preliminary approval from the U.S. government, along with approval from the Liberian Civil Aviation Authority, to sell tickets for the new flights. The company said it expects final U.S. government approvals before the flight begins.