Foreign Minister Kamara Meets ECOWAS Ambassador

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• Called on Minister Kamara to prevail on stakeholders across the Liberian government bureaucracy to ensure that the over 14 treaties and protocols submitted by ECOWAS for ratification are ratified, saying “Liberian has benefited from some of these treaties and conventions.”
• Recapped firm position on presidential tenure by ECOWAS leaders that no leader in any of its member states should lengthen him or herself in power; likewise, officials of the commission are not to also extend their tenures.

Foreign Affairs Minister Marjon Kamara received in audience ECOWAS Ambassador accredited near Monrovia, H.E. Mr. BabatundeOlanrewajuAjisomo, when he paid her a courtesy call on Thursday, April 7.

According to a Foreign Ministry release, Ambassador Ajisomo congratulated Minister Kamara on her preferment and briefed her on developments taking placing within the sub-regional organization including political, social, economic, and security issues.

On welcoming the ECOWAS envoy Minister Kamara thanked him for the courtesy visit and extended gratitude to ECOWAS for all the humanitarian assistance it continues to render the Government and people of Liberia, reflecting on the civil crisis and the Ebola outbreak.

Minister Kamara applauded the ECOWAS envoy for the comprehensive overview he provided her on ECOWAS’ activities in the sub-region. She indicated that she is aware that the regional body is going through a transition, acknowledging that former vice president of the commission, Dr. Toga McIntosh, had already returned to Liberia after a successful end of his tenure.

Minister Kamara expressed confidence that the country’s recent nominee to the ECOWAS committee on infrastructure, Dr. Antoinette G. Weeks, would ably represent Liberia on her new assignment.

On the issue of ratifying the ECOWAS treaties and protocols, Minister Kamara assured Ambassador Ajisomo that she will work closely with other relevant government institutions to have these instruments ratified.

Madam Kamara also added that under her stewardship as Foreign Minister Liberia will tap into rewarding areas of maximum benefits in ECOWAS.

She further applauded ECOWAS’ initiatives in member states including the organization’s role in maintaining peace and security, humanitarian and political affairs in the region; as well as, the
introduction and use of ECOWAS passports by its citizens which she observed is now being circulated worldwide.

Ambassador Ajisomo recounted the strategic and historical role Liberia played during the formation of ECOWAS dating back to 1975 when Liberia signed the ECOWAS Protocol affirming its membership to the regional body.

The ECOWAS Ambassador thanked Minister Kamara for the warm reception and granting him the audience to meet with her, which he said was intended to apprise her of ongoing developments taking place in ECOWAS.

He stressed that considering the strategic role Liberia played at the formation of the ECOWAS, it would be prudent for the country to maximize its benefits of integration and minimize its risks since integration is always associated with risks and benefits.

He also added that ECOWAS is now at the stage of transition in terms of statutory appointments where preparation is underway for the ushering in of a new president of the ECOWAS Commission who he said hails from the Republic of Benin.

The ECOWAS Ambassador also used the occasion to congratulate Liberia for nominating a well-seasoned and experience candidate to head the Infrastructure Committee of the ECOWAS Commission in the person of Dr. Weeks.

He further disclosed that the vice president’s position previously occupied by Dr. McIntosh has now been given to The Gambia while the presidential slot of the Commission is being occupied by the Republic of Benin which he noted are expected to take office in Abuja, Nigeria shortly.

He further said that ECOWAS’ Heads of State and Government, during one of their deliberations, took a firm position on the presidential tenure. According to him, ECOWAS leaders agreed that no leader in any of its member states should elongate his/herself in power, likewise, officials of the commission are not to also elongate themselves to office.

He indicated that those holding current positions at the Commission will continue to serve up to 2018 so that by 2018 the Commission would consider rotating positions among member countries.

The envoy also informed Minister Kamara that the Commission looks forward to seeing her participate in all ECOWAS ministerial meetings like her predecessor who he hailed for proactively
participating at all levels of ECOWAS’ meetings in order to maximize benefits of integration.

The envoy, however, called on the minister to prevail on other relevant stakeholders across the Liberian government bureaucracy to ensure that the over 14 treaties and protocols submitted by ECOWAS for
ratification are ratified, saying “Liberian has benefited from some of these treaties and conventions.”

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