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Presidents of Sierra Leone and Liberia Reaffirm Commitment to Strengthen and Expand Relations

Friday, 11th May 2012
Monrovia, Liberia - The Presidents of Liberia and Sierra Leone have reaffirmed their determination to further strengthen and expand relations, noting with satisfaction the cordial and friendly ties subsisting between the two countries and peoples.
The statement was contained in a Joint Communiqué signed between Her Excellency Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and His Excellency Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma of Liberia and Sierra Leone, respectively, at the end of the latter's two-day working visit to Liberia.
The two Presidents agreed to work together in identifying new areas of cooperation in the economic, technical, cultural, and scientific fields for the mutual benefit of their peoples and countries.
The Liberian and Sierra Leonean leaders reaffirmed their determination to curb illegal cross-border activities including, but not limited to, illicit mining, drugs, illegal human and arms trafficking and money laundering. President Sirleaf and President Koroma further recognized the need for maritime boundary delimitation between the two countries. They agreed to foster petroleum exploration in both countries, and to cooperate peacefully on any issues emanating from there.
As members of the Mano River Union (MRU) Basin, the two leaders particularly agreed that the Union will be used as a vehicle for accelerated economic development and integration. In this regard, they agreed to further strengthen and support the MRU institutions.
They also expressed their commitment to the Côte d'Ivoire, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea (CLSG) segment of the West African Power Pool (WAAP) transmission line as a means of improving the economic climate of the region. The leaders further called for accelerated investment to develop the hydro power potential of the MRU and agreed to cooperate in developing cross-border infrastructure projects including roads and telecommunications, among others, as a way of fostering regional integration.
On the sub-regional front, the Liberian and Sierra Leonean Heads of State reiterated their full support for ECOWAS' decision calling for the restoration of constitutional order in the sisterly Republics of Mali and Guinea Bissau. They also agreed that Mali's territorial integrity must be preserved.
The two leaders reaffirmed their commitment to the full implementation of the principles and protocols of ECOWAS. They commended ECOWAS for its timely and robust intervention in resolving the political, security and humanitarian situations in the region, especially on Mali and Guinea Bissau. They called on the peoples of Mali and Guinea Bissau to adhere to the ECOWAS decision on the peaceful resolution of the conflicts in those two countries.
On the multilateral and international front, President Sirleaf and President Koroma reaffirmed their commitment to the principles and Charters of the Mano River Union (MRU), the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the African Union (AU), and the United Nations (UN). They agreed to harmonize their positions in these regional and international organizations.
The two sides reiterated their support for the African Union target of 2017 for achieving a Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) and the action plan for accelerating intra-African trade.
The Liberian and Sierra Leone leaders called for the reform of the United Nations Security Council and other UN Organs to reflect the contemporary reality of globalization and democratization of the international system.
President Koroma's delegation at the talks included the Minister of Finance and Development, Dr. Samura Kamara; the Minister of Energy and Water Resources, Honorable Oluniyi Robbin-Coker; and the Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr. Richard Konteh.
President Sirleaf led the Liberian side that included the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Honorable Augustine Kpehe Ngafuan; the Minister of Finance, Honorable Amara Konneh; the Acting Minister of Justice and Attorney General, Cllr. M. Wilkins Wright; the Minister of Commerce and Industry, Honorable Miata Beysolow; the Minister of Lands, Mines and Energy, Honorable Patrick Sendolo; the Minister of Transport, Honorable Eugene Nagbe; the Minister of State for Presidential Affairs, Honorable Dr. Edward B. McClain, Jr.; and the President and CEO of the National Oil Company of Liberia (NOCAL), Dr. Randolph McClain.
Before concluding his visit to Liberia, President Koroma and President Sirleaf officially inaugurated one of several National Petroleum (NP) Service Stations in Liberia, established by both countries' private investors. The NP Service Station is a Sierra Leonean business venture that's making a debut investment in Liberia.
Both leaders observed that this development represents a significant hallmark in the economic ties of the two countries. They also recognized the traditional links amongst the peoples of both countries and expressed their commitment to further advance cross-border trade, as well as the free movement of goods and persons.
Culled from Executive Mansion Liberia


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