President Sirleaf welcomes Thomas Yayi Boni of Benin and Mahamadou Issoufou of Niger
MONROVIA, January 8 (LINA)-President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf says the visit of the Presidents of Benin and Niger has further deepened the support and feeling of solidarity that the two countries have for Liberia.
The Liberian President said though they were just visiting the country since the Ebola crisis, she was certain that they have been with Liberia in spirit. “You have been with us through messages, telephone calls, through the meetings of ECOWAS that have provided the support and encouragement. So we feel that this meeting just deepens that particular support and the feeling of solidarity which you have for us,” she said.
According to an Executive Mansion release, President Sirleaf made the assertion when she met with the two sub-regional leaders, Thomas Yayi Boni of Benin and Mahamadou Issoufou of Niger, when they paid a one-day solidarity visit to Liberia.
The meeting was held at the Roberts International Airport on Wednesday, January 7.
President Sirleaf said though she had hoped that they would have stayed overnight, but due to their own engagements she appreciated the time they spent with her and looked forward to continuing to make the success that Liberia is making in battling the Ebola virus disease to enable the country continue on its path of peace and development.
“I want to thank you for the visit and thank you for the support we have received, not just for Ebola, but you’ve been with us even before Ebola struck. You are a big partner to us. Thank you for this visit,” she said.
In remarks, the President of Niger, Mahamadou Issoufou said foremost in the minds of the sub-regional organization, ECOWAS, and the regional organization, African Union (AU), of which the three countries are members, has been the eradication of the deadly Ebola virus disease.
He said many summits and meetings of both groupings have been organized and measures taken which included providing financial assistance, sensitization campaigns and even mobilizing support from the international community to assist the three worse affected countries.
He commended President Sirleaf for her courage and strength in tackling the disease which has now put the virus on the run. On the occasion of the New Year and on behalf of the Government and people of Niger, he conveyed compliments of the season to the Liberian leader, the Government and people of Liberia. “Happy New Year to the Government and people of Liberia and most especially to you,” he said, adding that within the next few months we will be talking about economic prosperity.
For his part, President Yayi Boni disclosed that Benin is to shortly send a number of medical doctors to Liberia to join the efforts of other African countries and the international community to help eradicate this disease. “We want to join you in this fight because it is important. Since Liberia is a member of ECOWAS and the AU we are obligated to assist you,” President Yayi Boni indicated.