President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has received the Letters of Credence of the Ambassadors of the African Union and the European Union to Liberia, Ibrahim Mbaba Kamara of the African Union and Mrs. Helene Cave, Head of Delegation of the European Union, respectively.
According to an Executive Mansion release, the President spoke during separate ceremonies in the Cabinet Room of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs last Friday. She recalled the long and friendly ties between the two institutions that have strengthened Liberia in many ways and promoted closer cooperation in the areas of trade investment, agriculture, security, education, roads, capacity development among others. The president also reflected on her position as Chairperson of the Authority of ECOWAS Heads of State and Government, and cited the significant roles the AU and ECOWAS played in strengthening Liberia's democracy.
Addressing the new African diplomat accredited to Liberia, President Sirleaf said: "As a founding Member State, Liberia continues to be a steadfast member ensuring that Liberia continues to promote African unity. I am pleased with these interactions, and perhaps more importantly, to explore further possibilities for more cooperation between our two institutions."
President Sirleaf and Former President John Mahama - Head of ECOWAS Elections Monitoring Mission along with delegation
She among others things expressed thanks and appreciation to the African Union and ECOWAS for their outstanding and positive roles played in the fight against the deadly Ebola virus, which she described as their "great sacrifice" for Liberia.
Touching on the elections, President Sirleaf said it is defining event which, according to her, will strengthen Liberia's democracy and maintain the peace. Although there may be "some small problems," the President said things are "generally good" and reaffirmed her continued support to a peaceful, free, fair and transparent election, stressing: "We will continue to carry out our mandate until January 2018 when we hold inauguration for a new government."
President Sirleaf receives Letters of Credence from in-coming EU Ambassador Helene Cave at her Foreign Ministry Office
Talking about further support of Liberia's postwar recovery, President Sirleaf recounted the EU and AU's continued support and assistance to Liberia. She stressed that as Liberia works to further consolidate the democratic and economic gains achieved over the last decade, she shall continue to forge meaningful partnerships with the AU and EU as the country endeavors to attain rapid economic growth and development.
"The EU has supported Liberia through the UN support to the country's peace process and also provided resources including direct budget support," President Sirleaf indicated.
Speaking earlier, the new African Union and European Union diplomats - Mr. Ibrahim Mbaba Kamara and Mrs. Helene Cave respectively, thanked President Sirleaf for the warm welcome and reception accorded them since their arrival in Liberia. "We have followed your work and what you have done for the Liberian people and Africa in particular."
They made particular reference to the outstanding leadership role played by President Sirleaf when she served as Chairperson of the Authority of ECOWAS Heads of State and Government that peacefully ended the political impasse in The Gambia and her appointment as a member of the Council of the Wise of AU, adding: "Thank you Madam President; you are a great woman."
President Sirleaf also received in audience former Ghanaian President John D. Mahama who is leading the ECOWAS Monitoring Group to Liberia to facilitate and assess yesterday's elections. She expressed appreciation on behalf of the Liberian Government and people for ECOWAS' involvement in Liberia's peace initiatives and social economic development during and after the civil conflict.
Former President Mahama thanked President Sirleaf for the warm welcome accorded him and team since their arrival in Liberia. He said he and his team are in Liberia to help Liberians achieve what they want.
Mahama said his team met with the NEC leadership and were briefed and as well made some recommendations to ensure credible elections. He said they touched on the excess ballot papers and security.
He noted that his team will issue a statement immediately after the elections and later in days to come.