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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
July 25, 2003

Statement on Liberia
Statement by Press Secretary

In recent days, the United States has been working intensively with ECOWAS and the United Nations to address the situation in Liberia.

Today, the President has directed the Secretary of Defense to position appropriate military capabilities off the coast of Liberia in order to support the deployment of an ECOWAS force once it is generated. The immediate task of the ECOWAS force is to reinforce a cease-fire and begin to create conditions where humanitarian assistance can be provided to the Liberian people. As the United States has said before, Charles Taylor must leave.

The U.S. role will be limited in time and scope as multinational forces under the United Nations assume the responsibility for peacekeeping and as the United Nations arranges a political transition in Liberia.

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