Sovereign Military Hospitaller
Order of St John of Jerusalem of
Rhodes and of Malta


Official visit of the President of Liberia to the Sovereign Order of Malta

Official visit of the President of Liberia to the Sovereign Order of Malta

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf received this morning by Grand Master Fra’ Matthew Festing

The President of Liberia, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, was received this morning by the Grand Master of the Sovereign Order of Malta, Fra’ Matthew Festing at the Magistral Palace

In her speech, the Liberian President, winner of the Nobel Prize for Peace in 2001, thanked the Sovereign Order of Malta for its much valued medical and social care support for her west African country. ‘And it is also thanks to that contribution that Liberia is on the road to recovery today. In recent years, we have combatted famine and extreme poverty, we have reinforced the primary healthcare infrastructure, promoted equality of the sexes and the liberty of women, reduced infant mortality and improved maternal heatlh. We have also reduced the incidence of AIDs and other fatal diseases.’ President Johnson continued: ‘Today we are working, not only to guarantee the freedom of our people, but also to raise possibilities of participating in the construction of decision making and the democratic process.’

In emphasising the close bonds of friendship and collaboration which link Liberia and the Sovereign Order of Malta since the establishment of diplomatic relations over 50 years ago, the Grand Master replied that ‘new projects are being planned by our Embassy in Monrovia. Among them: training for doctors and dentists because of the ongoing fight against the Ebola epidemic, once again a serious problem. We believe that the recent accreditation of the first permanent representative of the Sovereign Order of Malta to the African Union will create an even more effective collaboration among the different countries for improvement in the living conditions of the populations of Africa.’

During the meeting, Fra’ Matthew Festing conferred on Ellen Johnson Sirleay the collar of the Order pro Merito Melitensi.