Beninois President Ends two-day Visit to Liberia

Wednesday, 8th August 2007
Presidents Boni Yayi of Benin and Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia at the signing ceremonies.
Presidents Boni Yayi of Benin and Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia at the signing ceremonies.
Photo Credit: Adama B. Thompson/Executive Mansion

Monrovia, Liberia - Liberia and Benin have signed a joint communiqué in which both countries have pledged to strengthen bilateral ties subsisting between their two countries. In a communiqué, the leaders welcomed the finalization and signing of four bilateral agreements calling for among other measures, the creation of a Joint Commission; and an Economic, Scientific, Technical and Cultural Cooperation.

The Communiqué highlighted the solidarity shown and material support given by the Government and people of Benin to the People of Liberia in support of the Liberian Peace Process, especially through the convening of the Peace Conference on Liberia in 1993, leading to the historic Contonou Agreement, which formed the basis of all subsequent agreements, including the ultimate Comprehensive Peace Agreement of August 2003.

President Boni Yayi expressed appreciation to President Johnson Sirleaf for her kind sentiments and pledged Benin’s support to Liberia’s post conflict peace consolidation efforts, particularly in the areas of building construction and public works, with high intensity labor; mutual capacity building in the teaching of foreign languages through student exchange, and the promotion of democratic institutions.

The two leaders also discussed other regional and sub-regional issues including Guinea, Sierra-Leone and Cote d’Ivoire.  They welcomed progress in those countries towards the consolidation of peace, and noted the upcoming elections in neighboring Sierra-Leone.

The two leaders also expressed concern over the situation in the Darfur Region of Sudan, Chad and the Central African Republic. They welcomed the recent UN Security Council Resolution, mandating a 26-thousand strong hybrid United Nations/African Union Peace Keeping Force to be deployed in the Darfur region.  Presidents Johnson Sirleaf and Yayi, however urged the International Community to move quickly to have all the warring groups in the Darfur region reach an early peace agreement with the Sudanese Government.

Earlier during talks between the two West African leaders at her Foreign Ministry office, the Beninois leader praised the Liberian President for the programs being initiated by government to set the country on an irreversible course to national development and progress.  He said his country is prepared to share its experiences with Liberia in areas of mutual interests, lauding President Sirleaf’s efforts in making good governance a key pillar in the country’s path to recovery. Benin, he observed, did not experience war, but noted that bad management and governance yield the same results.  Dr. Yayi promised to stand by Liberia as the country consolidates peace.   “We will be by your side, because without peace and security nothing can be achieved,” Dr. Yayi emphasized.

The Beninois leader and delegation were earlier treated to a State Luncheon at the Monrovia City Hall. He has, meanwhile, invited the Liberian leader to visit Benin.  The Foreign Ministries of both countries will work out details of the visit.

The Beninois President arrived in Liberia on Tuesday at the start of a two day visit. He has now left for home.