Toast at Lunch Hosted by Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Monrovia, Liberia
August 13, 2009

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, let me express how honored I am to be here both as Secretary of State in the Obama Administration, and personally to be able finally to come to a country that has accomplished so much in such a short period of time against very long odds. (Applause.)

I am very impressed by the efforts that are being made by the government and people of Liberia. I’m looking forward to addressing the legislative branch later this afternoon. I have been in both branches, both the executive and the legislative, and I know that for the good of the people, there must be cooperation and a consistent effort to achieve the goals that are set for the people’s betterment. So for all – (applause). For all that you have already done, recognizing still the difficult path forward, I would like to raise a glass. I would like to toast someone whom I admire. I will admit it. It’s not diplomatic, but I happen to be a fan and a friend of your president. (Applause.) And I will raise this glass to the people of Liberia, who deserve the chance to have a future worthy of their hard work, their resourcefulness, their resilience; a future of the peace and opportunity, the development and prosperity, that should be the birthright of every single boy and girl. God bless Liberia. (Applause.)

PRN: 2009/T11-50