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MRU, ECOWAS play key roles –Act. Foreign Min. Shoniyin

Joseph T. Koon/Benjamin S. Taingay
Acting Foreign Minister, Elias Shoniyin
Acting Foreign Minister, Elias Shoniyin

MONROVIA, LIBERIA-Acting Foreign Minister, Elias Shoniyin, has stressed the important roles ECOWAS and MRU play in promoting regional integration and political stability.

Acting Foreign Minister Shoniyin said the MRU’s objectives are geared towards complementing ECOWAS’ efforts and providing support to its key objectives, including promoting regional integration through trade enhancement.

According to a Foreign Ministry release, the Acting Minister spoke Thursday, September 29, 2016 when a three-member British Government delegation paid a courtesy call on him at the Foreign Ministry in Monrovia.

Minister Shoniyin and the three British diplomats discussed regional and bilateral issues concerning developments in Liberia

The talks also focused on developments for the Mano River Union (MRU) member states and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

Mr. Shoniyin, who is also Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs, hailed the trade links between and among the four MRU countries.
The release quotes Mr. Shoniyin as saying: “Moving goods and services across the ECOWAS region are even more difficult than the doing so across the MRU basin, adding: “There are still hindrances at the ECOWAS level.”

Acting Foreign Minister Shoniyin, however, hoped that regional leaders would workout modalities to reduce common tariffs and improve regional border security to enhance trade in member states.

“Within the MRU region, a lot has been achieved in enhancing trade among citizens of the four countries.”

The Foreign Ministry official disclosed plans to connect the capital cities of the four member states by roads to enhance regional trade within the MRU basin.

Speaking earlier, the delegation’s Head, British Ambassador to Liberia, David Belgrove, informed Acting Foreign Minister Shoniyin that their mission was to inquire about the role of ECOWAS and MRU.

Ambassador Belgrove also informed Mr. Shoniyin that their mission was to inquire about how effective and efficient the two regional bodies are impacting regional stability.  

Other members of the British delegation included the British High Commissioner to Sierra Leone, Guy Warrington, and the British Defense Attaché to Liberia and Sierra Leone, Derek Deighton.

The MRU is a four-member economic bloc comprising Liberia, Guinea, Sierra Leone and Cote d’Ivoire, while ECOWAS, chaired by Liberia’s President, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, comprises all West African countries.



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