19 September Press Briefing Notes

Monday, 19th September 2011

Monrovia - Liberia - The President extends deep gratitude to everyone who turned out to show their appreciation for her administration. This massive show of support was a clear indication that the policies the President’s administration has put in place resonates in the hearts of the majority of our people. The huge turnout, in the President’s view, is a concrete demonstration that the Liberian people do appreciate the steady progress achieved under this administration and are willing to ensure that the gains are sustained.

The President appreciates the political maturity demonstrated on Saturday by partisans and all sympathizers who braved the heat to send out a strong message of their resolve to re-elect her for a second term.  Saturday’s event was also undoubtedly a clear indicator of the appeal of the President’s policies not only in Montserrado but throughout the country. The President extends profound thanks to all those who worked assiduously in pulling off a very successful launch, and urges the team not to relent as we move closer to October 11.

• The President left the country Sunday for New York to hold consultations with her West African counterparts who will be attending the United Nations General Assembly.  Her Excellency returns to the country on Wednesday, September 21.  Justice Minister Cllr. Christiana Tah, will coordinate the affairs of government during the President’s absence from the country.

• A high-level delegation from the Economic Community of West African States, headed by the ECOWAS Commission President, James Victor Gbeho, held very fruitful discussions with President Johnson Sirleaf last week.  During the meeting, ECOWAS renewed its commitment to the consolidation of peace in Liberia as the country conducts Presidential and Legislative elections next month. The delegation assured the President and the Liberian people that the organization has invested so much material and human resources toward the attainment of peace in Liberia and would continue to stand by the country to ensure that the peace is sustained.

• President Jose Eduardo Dos Santos of Angola and President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf have held discussions aimed at fostering relations between the two countries. At the invitation of the Angolan Head of State, President Johnson Sirleaf visited Luanda last week. The visit offered the two Presidents the opportunity to build upon the friendly ties between Liberia and Angola and to consider ways of further strengthening the relationship.
Presidents Johnson Sirleaf and Dos Santos, and their respective delegations, engaged in fruitful discussions during which they examined existing and potential areas of cooperation between Liberia and Angola. The two Presidents agreed that cooperation in the area of public safety, petroleum, agriculture and fisheries, transportation, geology and mining could be deepened and expanded.

The ministerial delegations of both countries were directed by the two leaders to proceed with discussions, at the end of which a General Agreement on Economic, Scientific, Technical and Cultural Cooperation and a Memorandum of Understanding on Political Consultations between the Ministry of External Relations of Angola and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Liberia would be concluded.  The General Agreement provides for the establishment of an Angola-Liberia Joint Commission which would formulate and implement programs of cooperation between the two countries in various fields.