Findley Has Not Been Confirmed as Foreign Minister; Senate Clarifies

MONROVIA, Montserrado – The Liberian Senate has clarified that it has not confirmed foreign minister designate Gbezonghar Findley, as has been widely reported.

The Senate’s Director of Press Jalawa Tompo told ELBC Thursday that although hearing for Findley’s confirmation was held on Wednesday, the required procedures to complete his confirmation are yet to be exhausted.

Tompo disclosed that the Senate committee of Foreign Affairs is required to make a formal report to the plenary, after which a decision would be taken on whether Findley is confirmed.

“Although he answered all the questions posed to him very well, it is not for me to say he will be confirmed, ahead of the committee’s report,” he told ELBC in an interview.

FrontPage Africa and other media outlet are reporting that Findley, who is also a former president pro tempore, was confirmed late on Wednesday, hours after his confirmation hearing.

He and the finance minister designate, Samuel Tweah, appeared before the respective committees on Wednesday for confirmation hearings.

Findley told the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs at his confirmation hearing that he would further strengthen Liberia’s diplomatic relationship with the United States, while also committing to President George Weah’s promise to support a ‘One China’ policy.

To achieve this, Findley also promised to work with some of the country’s experience foreign policy interpreters, because he is new to foreign service.

“If I say to you that I have a remedy now, I will be lying to you; I am not an experienced diplomat,” he told the senators. “But the president has made it clear that the Liberian government will hold onto the ‘One China’ policy. At the same time, we will maintain our traditional relationship with the U.S.”

He also disclosed that in compliance with the president’s agenda for a pro-poor governance, one of his key programs would be to seek reduction in the cost of passport for Liberians, in addition to strengthening the country’s relations with bilateral and multilateral organizations, as he would push for the country’s foreign policy to be focused on the economy.

Amid complaints from Liberians, Findley promised to work with the U.S. Embassy in Monrovia to improve conditions for citizens who apply for visas.

“Our people will not have to stand under the rain and sun under my administration. I will work with the U.S. Embassy to find a solution to this problem,” he said.

Among other things, he promised that the ministry under his leadership would also endeavor to improve Liberia’s embassies.

Findley is a former member of Unity Party and a strong supporter of Former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. He was among the first five cabinet members to be appointed by President George Weah, shortly after his inauguration, on Monday.

He lost the top Senate position after losing his seat in Grand Bassa to Jonathan Kaipay. He has since chaired the board of the Liberia Airport Authority.

Featured photo by Gbatemah Senah

Gbatemah Senah

Senah is a graduate of the University of Liberia and a recipient of the Jonathan P. Hicks Scholarship for Mass Communications. Between 2017 and 2019, he won six excellent reporting awards from the Press Union of Liberia. They include a three-time Land Rights Reporter of the Year, one time Women's Rights Reporter of the Year, Legislative Reporter of the Year, and Human Rights Reporter of the Year.

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