SA committed to working with Liberia

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South Africa and Liberia have agreed to further deepen co-operation across a number of fields and take these relations to a higher level.

This emerged at a meeting between President Jacob Zuma and his Liberian counterpart Ellen Johnson Sirleaf in Pretoria.

The two leaders reviewed co-operation agreements between the two countries which were signed in 1997.

Although the economic activities between Pretoria and Monrovia are still at a relatively low level, the two leaders say there are ample opportunities for these countries to further expand their economic relations.

Existing relations include areas such as agriculture, tourism, health, energy, water and sanitation amongst others. President Jacob Zuma says there is however room for expansion.

“Given the abundant business opportunities that exist between our countries, we have agreed to look into improving an enabling environment to ease the manner of doing business in our respective countries. Your Excellency, we agreed to finalise the signing of a Visa Waiver Agreement for Holders of Diplomatic and Official Passports soon. We have also agreed to speed up discussions and finalisation of other bilateral instruments on agriculture, tourism, health, energy, water and sanitation amongst others.”

President Zuma says South Africa is committed to supporting the electoral process in Liberia

The visit comes at a time when Liberia is preparing for a presidential election which will mark an end of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s reign. She has served two terms as a head of state. President Zuma says South Africa is committed to supporting the electoral process in Liberia.
“We also received a briefing on the upcoming Presidential and Legislative elections in Liberia, and committed to provide technical support and assistance in this regard. Once more, we wish Liberians well as they prepare for the elections.”
President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has meanwhile welcomed South Africa’s commitment towards cementing relations between the two countries.
“This visit, for us Mr President is very monumental. It provides us the opportunity to look at the many exchanges that have taken place over recent years in an attempt to identify those specific areas of co-operation and partnership that can lead to even stronger and deeper partnership and today we had a very useful participatory exchange that we believe had identified a roadmap that will lead us to more stronger partnership in trade, international relations and overall bilateral co-operation.”
In relation to issues of mutual concern, the two leaders spoke in one voice against challenges threatening the continent’s peace and security. They condemned all forms of terrorism and extremism saying these activities continue to dampen and hinder the much needed developments in most countries in the continent.

– By Amos Phago