President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf
Pres. Sirleaf Holds Meetings with Ivorian Leader, Partners
MONROVIA, January 29 (LINA) - President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf on Friday, January 29, held bilateral talks with her Ivorian counterpart, Alassane Ouattara, who is also attending the 26th Ordinary Session of the African Union (AU) Assembly in Addis Ababa.
The closed-door discussion between the two neighbors centered on Liberia-Ivorian relations, including international issues that require the attention and input of the two West African countries, according to a dispatch from Addis Ababa.
President Sirleaf, who arrived in the Ethiopian capital Thursday to join her colleagues at the Assembly, also held talks with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Mr. Fillipo Grandi.
During their meeting, Mr. Grandi, who once served on an emergency mission to Liberia in 1993, said he was pleased and commended Liberia and Côte d’Ivoire for the ongoing repatriation of Ivorian refugees from Liberia.
He cited Liberia as “a good example” of how a country should handle a refugee situation and how to take care of people seeking help.
He sought Liberia’s perspective on how to handle the current refugee situation in Europe and the Middle East and urged Liberia to ratify the Kampala Convention on Internally Displaced Persons as well as promote the Abidjan Declaration on Stateless People.
Earlier, President Sirleaf congratulated Mr. Grandi for his new assignment and pledged Liberia’s cooperation with the UN refugee agency.
The Liberian leader later held discussions with the President of the African Development Bank, Mr. Akwinwuni Adesina.
Later in the afternoon on Friday, the Liberian President will join other African leaders to participate in the 24th Summit of Heads of State African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) Forum at the National Conference Center.
During the Assembly, which runs from Saturday, January 30, to Sunday, January 31, the Heads of State and Government will listen to opening statements and later officially launch this year’s theme: “African Year of Human Rights with a particular focus on Women Rights.”
The 26th Ordinary Session of the Assembly will also consider Reports and Draft Decisions of Committees of the Assembly of the Union, including President Sirleaf’s final report as Chairperson of the High Level Committee on the Post-2015 Development Agenda.
On January 31, AU Commission Chairperson, Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, will tender a luncheon in honor of Heads of State and Government, senior government officials, business personalities, companies and partners that contributed to the AU Support to the Ebola Outbreak in West Africa (ASEOWA), as well as representatives of ASEOWA health workers, among others.