(LINA) – President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has urged the African Union (AU) Commission Chairperson, Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, to ensure that the AU maintains and strengthens its presence in Liberia.
The Liberian leader stressed that in the wake of the pending elections and democratic transition in Liberia, the monitoring role of the AU Liaison Office is crucial in lending credibility to the process.
According to a dispatch, President Sirleaf made the request during a discussion with the AU Chairperson Friday shortly after her arrival in Kigali, Rwanda to attend the 27th Session of the General Assembly of the African Union.
During the discussions, President Sirleaf praised the work of the African Union Liaison Office in Liberia.
In response, Dr. Zuma recognized the critical role the AU must continue to play in Liberia’s democratic development and promised to work with the Union’s Peace and Security Council in maintaining a strong presence in the country.
Meanwhile, upon her arrival in Kigali, President Sirleaf also held discussions with Mr. Carlos Lopes, Executive Secretary of the U.N. Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) concerning the expeditious implementation of the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) between ECOWAS and the EU.
President Sirleaf and Mr. Lopez agreed on the need for all ECOWAS states to accede to the EPA to ensure its implementation so as to accrue mutual benefits to the two regional bodies.
The President also continued her meetings with a briefing session with the organizers of the Empowering Women through Agriculture (EWA) initiative.
President Sirleaf, who is chair of the EWA initiative, the African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF) in conjunction with the Femme Africa Solidarité (FAS), hosted a breakfast meeting in Kigali on Saturday, July 16, to brief and update Heads of State on the pilot countries and other key stakeholders on the Empowering Women in Agriculture initiative.
The event is organized in collaboration with African Union Commission (AUC), African Development Bank (AfDB) and World Bank.
Meanwhile, Heads of State of ECOWAS countries are expected to hold a meeting on the margins of the AU summit Saturday, July 16, to harmonize their positions on key issues.
This was disclosed after the President of the ECOWAS Commission, Mr. Marcel De Souza, ended a closed door meeting with the Chairperson of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf in Kigali today.