Obama lifts sanctions against Liberia

FILE - In this April 21, 2014 file photo, Liberian LNG, or Liquefied Natural Gas, tanker Al Hamra arrives at a port in Yokohama, southwest of Tokyo. Japan may find itself the odd man out when Prime Minister Shinzo Abe presents his government’s blueprint for combating climate change at a summit of the world’s leading industrialized democracies Sunday and Monday, June 7-8, 2015. The Group of Seven host, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, has indicated she supports a pledge of eventual zero carbon emissions. Japan favors the use of coal, gas and nuclear power over green energy despite rapid growth of investment in renewables since all its nuclear reactors were taken offline following the 2011 disaster in Fukushima. (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) – President Barack Obama has lifted economic sanctions against Liberia.

The White House says the president signed an executive order Thursday removing penalties against the West African nation more than a decade ago by the previous U.S. administration.

Obama notified congressional leaders in a letter, saying his decision was based on Liberia’s strides toward democracy after emerging from civil war in 2003. He also cited the “orderly development” of Liberia’s political, administrative and economic institutions.

The previous White House sanctioned Liberia after determining that the actions of former President Charles Taylor and others were a threat to U.S. foreign policy. The penalties were meant to deprive them of funding and arms for conflicts in West Africa.

Taylor is currently serving a 50-year sentence for war crimes and crimes against humanity.

(Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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