President Johnson Sirleaf Addresses ECOWAS Summit

Saturday, 20th January 2007
President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.
President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.
Photo Credit: James M. Garresen, II/Executive Mansion
President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has told Heads of State and Government of the Economic Community of West African States that Liberia is available to play whatever role necessary to work for peace and stability in the West African sub-region.

In a statement at the 31st Ordinary Summit of Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS, held in the Burkinabi capital, Ouagadougou, the President said Liberia has resolved to work within the Community framework for the peaceful resolution of the crisis in neighboring Cote d’Ivoire. Liberia’s own peace, President Johnson Sirleaf acknowledged, is intricately tied to the peace in Cote d’Ivoire.

According to an Executive Mansion Press Release, President Johnson Sirleaf also expressed concern about the situation in neighboring Guinea, and offered her services, “in any way possible to contribute to restoring normalcy in that country.”

The President recalled efforts being made within the framework of the Mano River Union to resolve the misunderstanding over a territory between Guinea and Sierra Leone.

“Liberia’s commitment to the implementation of ECOWAS protocols is strong,” the President informed the Summit. Despite the many demands on the country’s limited resources, the country has taken two important actions in fulfillment of existing ECOWAS protocols.

The Protocol of the Community Levy, which was ratified last year by the National Legislature, is being implemented. Liberia, the President noted, has opened and activated the ECOWAS account at the Central Bank of Liberia.  “It is our pledge to keep it active in accordance with the protocol,” the President assured ECOWAS Leaders and Governments.

Meanwhile, Liberia has formally concluded the process for the issuance of the ECOWAS passport. The measure, President Johnson Sirleaf said, is in compliance with the request that travel is eased in the sub region.

President Johnson Sirleaf traveled to the Summit on an ECOWAS passport.

In a related development, the President has issued an appeal to ECOWAS, requesting a special dispensation to ease the burden of huge arrears, thus enabling the country to facilitate its reconstruction and peace building inititiatives.

The President and party are already back in the country. They returned Saturday afternoon.