Baltimore Prepares “Red Carpet” for Chairman Bryant’s Visit

(Press Release Issued by Liberian Information Resource Center)


The Perspective
Atlanta, Georgia

January 19, 2004

In an administrative notice issued on January 15, 2004, by Dr. Judy Orlinsky, Director of International Affairs, a cabinet of Baltimore’s Mayor Martin O’Malley, the City of Baltimore was alerted to the up-coming visit of Liberia’s “New Interim President”, Gyude Bryant to the City of Baltimore on the 10th of February. “Obviously, this would be a red carpet visit of high importance”, the notice asserted.

The City of Gbarnga in Liberia is Baltimore’s oldest Sister City. The relationship between the two cities had lapsed in the last 15 years due to the Liberian Crisis. Between 1974 and 1979, Liberia’s President William R. Tolbert visited Baltimore twice, and Interim Chairperson Ruth Perry also made a visit to Baltimore during her tenure. The City of Gbarnga and other Cities in Liberia had received from Baltimore several donations of technical assistance and professional support in the areas of education, health and electrical materials as well as training opportunities in the United States. Gbarnga donated several Liberian cultural artifacts to Baltimore and constructed a Kpelle Village in the Baltimore Zoo. Obviously, In preparations to announce the resumption of productive engagement between Baltimore and Gbarnga/Liberia during the up-coming visit of chairman Bryant, Mayor Martin O’Malley has authorized the reactivation of the Baltimore-Gbarnga Sister City Committee. Mr. Joe Nimely, a Liberian Computer Engineer who works at Baltimore City Hall, has been designated to chair the committee under the supervision of Dr. Judy Orlinsky, Director of International Affairs.

Under the pro-active initiative of Monrovia’s former City Mayor, Daniel G. Johnson, Who is Director of International Partnership at the Liberia Information and Resource Center in Baltimore, and the welcome approval of Baltimore’s Mayor Martin O’Malley, based on confirmation from Ambassador Fred Bass, that Chairman Gyude Bryant would visit Baltimore on the 10th of February, preparations have been launched to ensure the visit of the Liberian Leader achieves very meaningful results to benefit the people of the war-ravished nation.

Dr. Judy Orlinsky who and and the former MCC Boss Johnson conducted a teleconference with Ambassador Fred Bass at the Executive Mansion in Monrovia, is coordinating preparations of meetings for the visit of Chairman Bryant to Baltimore. According to Mayor Johnson, the visit of Chairman Bryant to Baltimore, is to launch and further strengthen a broad range of USA-Liberia People-to-People, Municipal and Institutional partnerships in support of human development, trade and economic empowerment and good governance in Liberia. The Office of Governor Robert Erhlich has been contacted for a meeting with Executives or Superintendents of the 23 Local Counties that constitute the State of Maryland. The objective of this meeting is to have Counties in Maryland, USA go into direct and long term partnership with local Counties in Liberia. Furthermore, heads of the academic community including Universities, Colleges and grade schools, civic institutions as well as international trade and investment corporations, have been alerted for the meeting at Baltimore City Hall, where it is expected that Chairman Bryant will encourage them to go into direct partnership with like-minded institutions in Liberia. Mayor Johnson further says, contact has also been made with the Maryland Port Authority(MPA) to go into professional, technical and trade Partnership with the National Port Authority of Liberia (NPA). A memorandum of intent initiating this relationship is expected to be considered during the visit of Chairman Bryant. Finally, Citizens of Liberia and the MANO River Union in Baltimore and Maryland will like to present a petition of peace, cooperation and support to Chairman Bryant. The proposed schedule of events for the one-day working visit of Chairman Bryant to Baltimore has already been e-mailed to the Director of Protocol at the Executive Mansion, madam Deware Gray for mutual agreement and confirmation to be reached.

However, with all these preparations, Baltimore continue to await confirmation on the schedule of arrival by Chairman Bryant to the City, so that the schedule of his meetings can be finalized and the necessary protocols and security arrangements between the City of Baltimore, State of Maryland and the State Department in Washington can be concluded.

Franklin Ben-Weller II
Press Secretary
201 West Saratoga Street, Baltimore, MD 21201
Tel: 404-375-5032; 410-444-4782