16 April 2018

West Africa: President Weah Describes ECOWAS Summit 'Fruitful'

President George Manneh Weah has returned to the country after attending the Extraordinary ECOWAS summit on Guinea-Bissau in Togo.

Upon his arrival at the Gnassingbe Eyadéma International Airport on April 13, 2018, in the Togolese Capital Lome, President Weah received a rousing welcome by his Togolese Counterpart Faure Gnassingbe.

The Liberian Leader also received special recognition and commendation from his West African counterparts on his historic elections as the 24th President of the Republic of Liberia and for his attendance at the Extraordinary ECOWAS Summit on Guinea-Bissau.

ECOWAS Chairman, Togolese President Faure Gnassingbe in his opening address at the Summit lauded President Weah on his elections as Liberia's 24th President. He assured the Liberian Leader and the people of Liberia that ECOWAS will remain engaged with Liberia during the tenure of President Weah.

Similar congratulatory messages by the West African leaders were extended to newly elected Sierra Leonean President Julius Maada Bio on his recent victory as President of the Republic of Sierra Leone, and applauded outgoing President Ernest Bai Koroma for the peaceful conduct of elections and turning over of power.

Meanwhile, West African leaders at the Summit resolved to adopt a roadmap towards bringing lasting peace in Guinea Bissau by drafting a communique. The leaders agreed that sanctions imposed at the AU summit on February 4, 2018 on stakeholders who are hampering the process for the resolution of political crisis in Guinea-Bissau will remain in full effect.

The Leaders agreed that the ECOWAS mission in Guinea Bissau will be extended through June 30, 2018. The Leaders took note of President Jose Vah's promise to appoint a consensus Prime Minister on April 17, 2018 which will subsequently be submitted to the legislature for approval on April 19, 2018. A new election date was set for November 18, 2018.

The legislature will convene on the 19th of April with a view to considering the issues relating to the appointment of members of the electoral Commission and the extension of the current legislature.

While in the Lome, President Weah also held sideline bilateral talks with his Togolese counterpart and Chairman of ECOWAS, H.E. Faure Gnassingbe. The issue of the viability of the ECOWAS Radio was stressed. "ECOWAS Radio has given us a common voice to tell our story instead of relying heavily on foreign media to broadcast our activities", President Weah stated.

Upon his arrival at the RIA, President Weah disclosed that the engagement was fruitful. The Liberian President said Guinea Bissau's President has committed to restoring law and order in his country, thereby making peace a priority."The deliberation was good. Today, we found a common ground. He promised that he will make sure things will be in order when he goes back to his country", President Weah said.

The Summit brought together an array of West African leaders and representatives from Nigeria, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Guinea, Mali, Niger, Benin, Senegal, and Liberia among others.

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