Abuja, Nigeria (PANA) - The Chairman of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria, here Monday said ECOWAS would hold a special meeting to discuss security challenges confronting Cote d’Ivoire.
Jonathan, who played host to Ivorian President Alassane Ouattara at the opening of bilateral talks between their two countries, said ECOWAS recognised the security challenges in the aftermath of the post-election crisis in Cote d’Ivoire and assured his guest of the regional body’s support in efforts to stabilise the country.
He urged the Ivorian leader to vigorously promote reconciliation among his people, in order to restore peace and confidence in the population.
Speaking on bilateral issues, he welcomed a proposal from Ouattara that the status of the leadership of the Nigeria-Cote d’Ivoire Joint Commission should be elevated to a presidential or vice-presidential level, in order to further strengthen and speed up the implementation of agreements.
He said the presence of a large number of Nigerians in Cote d’Ivoire made that country an area of special interest to Nigeria, adding that the two nations should continue to work together to strengthen bilateral relations.
Earlier, Ouattara told his host that he came specifically to “express deep gratitude for your personal interest and effort at resolving the post-election crisis in Cote d’Ivoire” and Nigeria’s support.
He also acknowledged the assistance which ECOWAS gave to his country, adding that he had already taken steps towards total reconciliation by constituting a Truth and Dialogue Committee, with members nominated to represent all interest groups in the country.
Ouattara said his country was committed to stronger bilateral and mutually beneficial relations with Nigeria and under the umbrella of ECOWAS.
-0- PANA MON/BOS 1Aug2011