Obama lifts sanctions against Liberia

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President Barack Obama has lifted the economic sanctions imposed against Liberia, citing the country’s strides towards democracy as his government’s reasons.

The US government in 2004 under former President George Bush had slapped Liberia with economic sanctions in 2004 after it deemed actions by former Liberian President Charles Taylor to pose a threat to the US foreign policy.

The penalties were designed to deprive Taylor and others funding arms and conflicts in West Africa.

Obama notified congressional leaders in a letter, saying his decision was based on pro-democracy actions by the West African nation since it emerged from civil war in 2003.

He also cited the “orderly development” of the country’s political, administrative and economic institutions, including presidential elections in 2005 and 2011 that were internationally recognized as being freely held.

Ned Price, lead spokesperson for the National Security Council, also commended Liberia’s response to a recent Ebola outbreak. World health officials declared the country Ebola-free in September.

President Obama removed the penalties by executive order.

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