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TRANSCRIPT: AFRICOM Commander talks to Nigerian Television Authority while in Liberia for their Armed Forces Day
<i>General William E. Ward, commander of U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM), spoke briefly with a Nigerian Television Authority news crew while at an evening reception in Monrovia, Liberia February 10, 2011. The news crew was accompanying members of a
General William E. Ward, commander of U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM), spoke briefly with a Nigerian Television Authority news crew while at an evening reception in Monrovia, Liberia February 10, 2011. The news crew was accompanying members of a Nigerian delegation who were in town for Liberia's Armed Forces Day ceremony held February 11, 2011. A Nigerian officer is currently the commanding officer in charge of the Armed Forces of Liberia through an international agreement.

The complete transcript is below. GENERAL WILLIAM E. WARD: Good evening. I'm just fine, thank you. And how are you? Q: Okay. How would you describe the evening? GEN. WARD: I'd describe this as a very wonderful evening -- warm friends renewing friendships, talking about the things that are common to us all. Here to celebrate the occasion of the Armed Forces of Liberia and their Armed Forces Day. Q: The United States Africa Command -- their role in the rebuilding process in Liberia, can you put that in perspective? GEN. WARD: Well, several years ago, our president, at the request of the president of Liberia, was asked, "As we stand up a new armed forces, can you be of assistance in that effort?" And because of that commitment made by our president to the president of Liberia, we have now embarked upon a program where we are in support of the Liberians as they stand up a new armed forces in a way that represents its people well, serves as a model of professionalism and discipline, that serves as a good model for the people here in Liberia, but also for the region, insofar as how militaries are formed and conducting themselves in ways that indicate that they are protectors, supporters of their people -- a force for good, as opposed to otherwise. Q: Partnership with Nigeria: What can you say about that? GEN. WARD: Well, we certainly recognize that Nigeria is a most important partner here in the region and also on the continent. And in ways that we can work together to produce stability in support of African desires, African goals, we are very happy to partner with Nigeria, and we have done that. We look forward to doing that in the future. And it's about how we, because of our partnership, our support, can work with our friends here on the continent at the regional level, the sub-regional level to help create a more stable environment. Thank you. MR. : Yes, a picture, yes. GEN. WARD: Well, tomorrow is to celebrate the Armed Forces of Liberia and we're happy that they can celebrate the progress that's been made by the armed forces, but also to signal our renewed commitment to supporting them in their endeavors to serve their people in more positive and a good way. And so being here tomorrow with all the delegations and the leadership, the leaders from the various countries in the region, really indicates how we all see a common way forward, working for stability. And so this celebration tomorrow -- it's a celebration. We're happy to be here. We're happy to be a part of it. And we're happy to be a partner in this great, great endeavor. Thank you. Thank you. (Off-side conversation.) (END)
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