MRU to Hold Summit on Ebola

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The Secretariat of the Mano River Union (MRU) will hold a two-day technical and ministerial meeting among three of the four members who were the worst Ebola affected countries, according to its chairman Guinean President Alpha Conde.

The technical meeting, which is to take place in the Guinean capital, Conakry beginning tomorrow, will focus on harmonizing the MRU’s approach to recovery from the Ebola virus disease as a success, President Conde noted.

 After the technical meeting, a summit, which will bring together leaders of the four MRU member states, (Liberia, Sierra Leone, Cotê d’Ivoire and Guinea), is expected to take place at the same venue on Sunday, February 15.

The MRU Chair made the disclosure on Tuesday when he paid a one-day solidarity visit to Liberia and held a closed door meeting with President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf before both leaders addressed a joint press conference in the Foyer of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Monrovia.

President Conde, speaking through an interpreter, said it is important that the MRU countries have a common, unified position when they meet with the international community which will make them stronger. He called on Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea to put their efforts together to fight and defeat the disease.

His one-day visit was to show solidarity and compassion to President Sirleaf and the people of Liberia. “I came to show compassion to my sister, to the Liberian people and also to show that we have a common destiny in the turmoil we are facing. We have to fight Ebola and all its consequences, including our economic recovery,” said President Conde.

Professor Conde said he was gratified that Liberia has only four confirmed Ebola cases and he is optimistic that there would shortly be no new cases within the three countries.

He said Liberia and Guinea are the same. If there is a problem in Liberia it means that it is a problem for Guinea.

In welcome remarks earlier, President Sirleaf commended Professor Conde and his delegation and recounted the long bilateral relations between both countries which have gone through some troubled times, especially during the Ebola crisis.

“I welcome you and your delegation as you visit Liberia to show solidarity with the Liberian people, not only as a long-time friend but also as the current Chair of the MRU,” President Sirleaf said. “Our two countries have a long history of relationship; our two countries have also gone through some difficulties. In the last few years the bonds of friendship between us have grown stronger as we work together not only in the MRU but in ECOWAS and the African Union.”

President Sirleaf applauded President Conde for the level of encouragement in the fight against the deadly Ebola virus, as well as his representation of the MRU countries at different international forums to mobilize support for the countries worse affected by the Ebola virus disease. 

She said Liberia looks forward to working with Guinea as both countries work together to improve the lives of their citizens. President Conde left Liberia for Freetown, Sierra Leone in continuation of his visits to MRU countries.

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