President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf and her counterpart, President Alassane Ouattara of La Cote d'Ivoire held discussions on Saturday intended to support peace and reconciliation between the two nations.
The two presidents made special statements at the Joint Council of Chiefs and Elders Meeting (JCCEM) during which they affirmed support for the enhancement of peace, reconciliation and democracy.
This is the second time that leaders of Liberia have had discussions out of Monrovia, Liberia's Capital in almost 50 years. The last time they met was in 1963 when three regional Presidents, William V. S. Tubman of Liberia, Siaka Stevens of Sierra Leone and Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana met a stone throw away from Zwedru, in Sanniquellie, Nimba County, to set into motion what became the Organization of African Unity (OAU), now the African Union (AU).
In a statement delivered at the occasion in Zwedru, President Alassane Ouattara said he was impressed with the process and noted that the two countries should continue to reinforce peace and reconciliation.
The Ivorian leader said he was impressed by President Sirleaf's commitment to ensuring that peace and reconciliation is achieved throughout the country.
In a statement to launch the opening of the Palava Hut Program, President Sirleaf encouraged all Liberians including the traditional leaders, elders, civil society, political parties and religious groups to join effort as all of them have a part to play in the process of ensuring lasting peace and harmony in the country, the sub-region, the continent and the world.
The Liberian leader commended President Ouattara and members of his delegation as well as traditional chiefs, elders, parliamentarians from both governments for gracing the historic occasion.
She indicated that although the launch of the Palava Hut Program was an internal event, their presence gave added impetus to all Liberians and Ivoirians committed to peace and reconciliation.