President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe
Pres. Sirleaf, Japanese PM Hold Talks In Tokyo
MONROVIA, August 28 (LINA) - President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe have reaffirmed their determination to coordinate, cooperate and strengthen the excellent relations subsisting between their two countries.
According to a dispatch from Tokyo, the two leaders, in a Joint Statement following bilateral discussions at the Prime Minister’s office on Thursday, August 27, agreed to enhance cooperation between their nations.
The spoke specifically of the areas of the rebuilding and strengthening of Liberia’s health systems, consolidation of peace in Liberia, strengthening economic relations, holding of the next Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) summit in 2016, and cooperation in the international arena.
The Joint Statement also highlighted President Sirleaf’s participation in the World Assembly for Women, and the importance of securing the participation of women in a wide range of areas in society.
Touching on rebuilding and strengthening Liberia’s health systems, both leaders recalled the unprecedented outbreak of the Ebola virus disease and reaffirmed the close cooperation between both countries to tackle this threat to international security.
President Sireaf updated the Japanese Prime Minister on Liberia’s efforts to date in the fight against the Ebola virus disease and expressed appreciation for Japan’s assistance in the fight.
She reminded the Japanese Prime Minister that the outbreak of the disease interrupted Liberia’s development programs and impacted the country’s economy, lowering the promising GDP growth rate to zero percent.
She also indicated that a drop in the price of Liberia’s key export earners - iron ore and rubber- on the global market, compounded the country’s economic situation.
The Liberian leader pointed out that with the defeat of the virus, her government and governments of the two other affected nations (Sierra Leone and Guinea) are putting things back together with country specific recovery plans and a joint regional recovery plan.
Both leaders shared the view that the focus of their actions was shifting from the emergency response to the Ebola outbreak to the medium - to long-term recovery. They also recognized that the rebuilding and strengthening of health systems was an urgent issue to be tackled since the vulnerability of the existing health systems was revealed by the Ebola outbreak.