With conditions, Taylor will step down

July 4, 2003 at 11:48 AM
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MONROVIA, Liberia, July 4 (UPI) -- Embattled Liberian President Charles Taylor said Friday he'll step down as president but with conditions.

Taylor said his resignation was contingent on the arrival of peacekeeping forces, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp., reported.

He welcomed the presence of U.S. troops in an international force, but didn't understand the U.S. insistence that he step down before such a force arrives.

"It makes a lot of sense for peacekeepers to arrive in this city before I transit," Taylor told Liberian clerics in Monrovia.

Taylor faces war crimes charges for his actions in the war in neighboring Sierra Leone.

He said Friday he would agree to asylum in Nigeria.

His government in Liberia has been under attack from rebels for three years.

U.S. President George W. Bush will be visiting Africa starting Monday, but he said he will not be pressured into making a decision on committing U.S. troops before then.

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