John F. Kennedy photo

Joint Statement Following Discussions With President Tubman.

October 21, 1961

AT THE INVITATION of President Kennedy, President Tubman paid a visit to Washington beginning October 19th. The two Presidents exchanged views on the present international situation and on relations between the United States and Liberia. This visit afforded a timely opportunity for the two Presidents to establish a personal acquaintance.

The two Presidents reaffirmed the strong ties of friendship and heritage which bind the two countries.

They reviewed the international situation with emphasis on developments in the United Nations. The two leaders agreed African representation in the United. Nations should be given greater opportunity for participation. The two Presidents are opposed to any proposal which would compromise the integrity and effectiveness of the United Nations organization.

The two leaders reviewed recent developments in Africa. The President congratulated President Tubman and his delegation on their leadership and contribution to the success of the meetings of African and Malagasy States held in Monrovia last May. The President expressed the hope that the second meeting to be convened in Lagos in January would be equally harmonious and productive.

On the subject of economic aid to Liberia, the President reiterated the desire of the United States government to assist Liberia in its social and economic development, pointing out that it was this sincere desire that prompted the sending of a special economic mission to Liberia earlier in October to consult with the Liberian government on its development program. The President expressed his gratification that the consultations in Monrovia revealed a determination on the part of the Liberian government to pursue a program for an accelerated expansion of the Liberian economy. It was agreed that top priority in United States assistance would be given to establishment of a strong central planning agency as the basis for more extensive assistance in all development areas.

The United States government will give serious consideration to participation in a long-term loan for the Mount Coffee hydroelectric project should further site engineering studies provided for in a pending Export-Import Bank loan confirm the project's feasibility.

The President also assured President Tubman that the United States government is prepared to give immediate increased assistance in the expansion of Liberia's educational program and the provision of additional health facilities with special reference to para-medical training facilities. The United States government will further give prompt consideration to means for participating in Liberia's plan to build a new hospital and medical training center in the city of Monrovia.

The conversation confirmed to the two leaders the profound and intimate relations between the two countries and their common aspirations to maintain peace and security and freedom in the promotion of the welfare of the peoples of the world.

Note: The joint statement was released at Newport, R.I.

John F. Kennedy, Joint Statement Following Discussions With President Tubman. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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