2 May 2017

Liberia: Guinea-Bissau President Visits Liberia

The President of Guinea-Bissau, Jose Mario Vaz, has paid a one-day state visit to Liberia and met with the Chairperson of ECOWAS, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.

Both leaders met briefly at the James Spring Airport in Monrovia before proceeding to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Capitol Hill where they held a closed door meeting. Speaking to reporters on Monday, May 1, at the James Spriggs Airport, the Minister of Information, Cultural Affairs and Tourism, Lenn Eugene Nagbe, disclosed that the purpose of the Guinea Bissau leader's visit here is to ask ECOWAS to intervene in serious political crisis his country.

"As you may be aware, there is serious political tension ongoing in that country, and since our President is the Chairperson of the ECOWAS body, his coming to visit her here is to find a means to amicably resolve the political tension", Minister Nagbe explains.

He said President Vaz came to urge ECOWAS leaders to do a little more in moving the peace process in his country forward, as the political tension has stagnated the entire country. The Guinea-Bissau leader's visit here comes less than a week after President Adama Barrow of The Gambia paid a working visit to Monrovia last week and met with the Chairperson of ECOWAS, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.

The MICAT boss recalls that few months ago, President Vaz and the opposition politicians signed a Memorandum of Understanding that would lead Guinea Bissau to free and fair elections.

According to Minister Nagbe, the request is for ECOWAS leaders to consult more with members of the opposition so to allow the peace process progress, because there is an upcoming ECOWAS meeting in June, and President Vaz has been assured that before that meeting, leaders of the region would brainstorm to resolve the impasse.

He narrated that there is stagnation in the peace process, saying "We decided to move this process, because the President is head of that august body, and therefore, all heads are going to commit themselves to that document that was signed, it is against this backdrop that ECOWAS is pushing on resolving that political crisis."

Nagbe added that beside ECOAWS, the African Union and the United Nations will get involved to help restore stability to Guinea Bissau.When asked what assurance President Sirleaf gives her counterpart, Minister Nagbe quickly said the Liberian leader has always been supportive of finding solutions to problems faced by ECOWAS-member countries. By Lewis S. Teh-Editing by Jonathan Browne


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