July 13, 2024

Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield Addresses Recent Africa Visits, ECOWAS Developments, and International Relations in VOA Interview

Linda Thomas-Greenfield, Permanent Representative of the United States to the United Nations, briefs reporters on Democratic People's Republic of Korea’s recent ballistic missile launches.

In an interview with Haydé Adams on VOA’s Straight Talk Africa, U.S. Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield, addressed recent visits to Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea Bissau.

The primary focus of Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield’s trip was to lead the presidential delegation to Liberia’s inauguration, emphasizing the U.S. commitment to the people of Liberia and congratulating them on a successful election. She commended the smooth transition from one administration to another and expressed support for President Boakai and President Weah.

In Sierra Leone, Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield engaged with the newly elected members of the Security Council, highlighting the attempted coup and condemning it. She also discussed Sierra Leone’s actions moving forward, including the Commission reviewing the electoral process.

Starting in Guinea Bissau, the ambassador engaged directly with the president, encouraging continued support for the democratic process and expedited elections to help the country as it strives for stability.

Regarding recent developments in West Africa, Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield addressed the decisions of Mali, Burkina Faso, and Niger to quit the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). She expressed concern about their isolation from the region, emphasizing the strength of ECOWAS and expressing hope for their eventual return to the organization.

The interview also touched upon the International Court of Justice’s interim ruling on South Africa’s case against Israel. While noting the symbolic nature of the ruling, Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield highlighted the U.S. support for Israel’s right to self-defense and encouraged adherence to international humanitarian law.

The U.S. Representative to the UN further discussed the temporary pause in funding to the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). She emphasized the need for an investigation into UNRWA staff involvement in attacks on Israel, stating that humanitarian assistance to the region would continue after the review.

On U.S. commitments to Africa in an election year, Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield reiterated the Biden administration’s ironclad commitment to the continent. She highlighted recent engagements by two cabinet officials in Africa and expressed the administration’s dedication to addressing African countries’ needs.

Regarding President Joe Biden’s potential trip to Africa, Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield couldn’t comment on his travel schedule but emphasized the President’s commitment to maintaining close relationships with African nations.

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