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President Khama in Monrovia, Liberia and Botswana to Coopera...

H.E. the President, Lieutenant General Seretse Khama Ian Khama, arrived in Liberia yesterday afternoon (17/8/11) to begin a two-day working visit to Africa's oldest republic, the first by a Botswana Head of State while in office.

Upon his arrival aboard OK 1 at the Roberts International Airport, outside Monrovia, President Khama was welcomed by his Liberian counterpart H.E. President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.

Following the arrival ceremonies, the two Presidents proceeded to the Liberian Foreign Ministry for a tête à tête (private one on one talks), after which the two Heads of State joined Ministers and senior officials for official talks.

At the official talks President Khama was joined by the Minister for Presidential Affairs and Public Administration, the Hon. Mokgweetsi Masisi and senior accompanying officials, while President Sirleaf was joined by the Liberian Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Planning & Economic Affairs, and Internal Affairs, as well as senior officials.

At the opening of the official talks President Khama expressed his gratitude for the warm reception he and his delegation had received on their arrival, also noting that Botswana was prepared to help Liberia as a sister republic in "whatever way we can to help you.”  He further observed that Botswana had already agreed to provide training for members of the Liberian National Police to help improve their skills.

In addition, President Khama announced that he had invited President Johnson Sirleaf to pay an official visit to Botswana

For her part the Liberian President welcomed President Khama and expressed her delight that Liberia was included in his three day three nation West African visit, confirming that she had accepted President Khama's invitation to come to Botswana. She expressed her desire that Liberia benefit from Botswana's good governance experience “as we endeavor to put into place structures to improve governance in all sectors of the country.”

Following the talks it was further announced that the two Presidents had discussed broad areas of cooperation including the mining industry, particularly the diamond sector.

As the world's leading diamond producer, Botswana has agreed to work with Liberia in setting up structures to help expand the diamond trade in the country. In this respect the Liberian Minister of Lands, Mines & Energy has been invited to visit Botswana to observe the security and production systems that are in place here to provide proper supervision over the diamond sector.

Last night, the Liberian President hosted a State Dinner in Honour of President Khama.

President Khama will depart from Liberia this morning, arriving home this afternoon.


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