Ivorian Premier, Defense chief visit Liberia
A high power Ivorian delegation, including the country’s Prime Minister and Defense Minister, are expected to visit Liberia on Saturday.
A statement from the Liberian presidency received by WADR says Ivorian Prime Minister Guillaume Soro and his delegation are due to hold talks with President Ellen Johnson- Sirleaf and other officials in Monrovia.
The statement said the discussions will focus on issues of bilateral concern, including security, trade, the refugee situation along the Ivorian-Liberian border.
There are currently some 100,000 Ivorian refugees who fled their country into Liberian border towns due to post election fighting between forces of former Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo and rebels backing now incumbent President Alassane Ouattara.
During his one-day visit, Soro and Liberian officials will also discuss how to improve and accelerate regional cooperation between the two countries in the framework of the Mano River Union.
The Ivorian delegation also includes the Minister of Justice and Human Rights, Jeannot Kouadio Ahoussou; the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Daniel Kablan Duncan; and the Chief Prosecutor, Kouadio Simplice Koffi, who will represent Côte d’Ivoire during the discussions. Representing Liberia will be: Defense Minister Brownie Samukai; Acting and Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Levi Demmah; Justice Minister Christina Tah; Internal Affairs Minister Harrison Karnwea; and Planning and Economic Affairs Minister Amara Konneh.
Meanshile, Liberia’s President Johnson-Sirleaf at the weekend received an Award from the Miss University Africa Organization, naming her “African Female Role Model for 2011”.
A government statement said the Liberian leader, who competed against three other prominent African women, was selected for speaking against dictatorial rule in Liberia before winning the 2005 election and for being Africa’s first elected female President.
The discussions, according to an Executive Mansion release, will focus on issues of bilateral concern, including security, trade, the refugee situation along the Ivorian-Liberian border, and how to improve and accelerate regional cooperation between the two countries in the framework of the Mano River Union.
“This visit by the Ivorian Prime Minister and delegation is the first such high-level visit since the inauguration of President Alassane Ouattara more than a month ago. President Johnson Sirleaf was among several leaders who attended the inauguration in Yamoussoukro,” the Liberian government statement added.