ECOWAS seeks US assistance for maritime security summit

Lagos, Nigeria (PANA) - ECOWAS has asked the US for assistance for the planned summit of Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS and the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) on maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea, due to hold next month in Yaoundé, Cameroun.

ECOWAS Commission President Kadre Ouedraogo made the request during a meeting with a visiting delegation from the US, led by the US Consul General, Jeffrey Hawkins, for discussions that were dominated by the security and political developments in Mali.

According to an ECOWAS Commission statement made available to PANA here Friday, the meeting was held at the Commission's headquarters in the Nigerian capital, Abuja, Wednesday.

The Yaoundé summit follows the adoption of UN Security Council Resolutions 2018 and 2039, urging countries in the two regions to take urgent steps to check piracy and armed attacks in their two areas.

Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Defence and Security of the two Regional Economic Communities recently met in Cotonou, Benin Republic, to develop a common framework for addressing the challenge.

Both President Ouedraogo and the US delegation specifically discussed the proposed transformation of the Africa-led International Support Mission in Mali (AFISMA) into a UN peacekeeping force, rebel activities in the country’s north, the implementation of the roadmap for elections scheduled for July 2013, as well as the dialogue for national reconciliation
among the various stakeholders in Mali.

President Ouedraogo used the opportunity to commend the US Government for its continued support to ECOWAS, including the logistics depot in Lungi, Sierra Leone, whose foundation was laid on 20 March 2013 at a colourful ceremony attended by various dignitaries.

Consul General Hawkins, whose delegation included the Department of State Deputy Director for West Africa, Jason Smith and the Political-Military Affairs Officer of the US Embassy in Nigeria, Helena Stein, commended the ECOWAS president for his leadership of ECOWAS.
-0- PANA SEG 5April2013

05 april 2013 12:48:14




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