President Sirleaf arrives in Abuja

Thursday, 14th June 2007
Monrovia, Liberia - President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has arrived in the Nigerian capital, Abuja, ahead of the 32nd Ordinary Summit of the Authority of Heads of State and Governments.  The President and delegation arrived Thursday afternoon, aboard a private Presidential jet, made available by the President of Equatorial Guinea, following a two-day State visit to that country.

In an interview with reporters before departure, the President said she was impressed over the level of development in Equatorial Guinea, and spoke highly of the involvement of citizens of that country in the development process. The President, who visited among other development sites, a Turbo Gas Plant, said she was impressed that the vision of their President to put into use natural gases for energy supply is being realized.

Meanwhile, the President has met with Liberians residing in Equatorial Guinea. The President said efforts will be made with the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) and Authorities of that Central African country to help ease some of the difficulties they continue to experience. The Liberians complained of difficult living conditions due to the lack of resident permits to enable them find jobs.  They appeal to the President to help use her influence to addressing their plight.  They attributed some of the difficulties to the lack of a diplomatic representation in that country and urged Government to consider opening one to help address some of their problems.

The President informed the citizens that due to efforts underway to streamline Liberian Missions abroad, government could not open additional missions. The spokesperson of the group, Mr. Fernando Togba Dougan, has been asked by the President to serve as a contact between Foreign Ministry officials and the citizens as government works out plans to address some of their concerns. She appealed to them to remain law-abiding.

Meanwhile, a Meeting of the Committee of Experts in charge of political affairs, peace and security, has ended in Abuja, with an acknowledgement of the progress being made by the Liberian government under the leadership of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. The Council made particular reference to the promotion and consolidation of peace, through respect for human rights and the judicious management of resources, inspite of the daunting challenges of post-war reconstruction and development.  The Council also acknowledged the progress made in the areas of economic enterprise and peace building, and urged the international community to keep its promise of aid to Liberia in its efforts to support the reconstruction and reintegration as well as deepen instituted reinforcement and reconstruction.
Liberia was represented at the Committee’s meeting by Foreign Minister, Ambassador George Wallace.

The two-day summit of the ECOWAS Heads of State will review political issues as well as peace and security in the sub-region.