Pres. Taylor Meets Ellen Sirleaf, Others
© All about Liberia

By John R. Dennis
May 3, 2002

President Charles Ghankay Taylor
President Charles Ghankay Taylor

President Charles Ghankay Taylor today held talks with Liberian opposition political leaders in Monrovia.

The meeting was held at the Cabinet room of the Executive Mansion on capitol Hill.

Seventeen political party leaders including Mrs. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of the Unity Party participated in the deliberations that highlighted crucial state matters.

Mrs. Sirleaf is one of the key critics of the Taylor Administration.

Some of the issues discussed were national reconciliation, the war in the northwest of Liberia and the 2003 presidential and general elections.

Speaking at the gathering of the political leaders, Mrs. Sirleaf concurs with the government that there exists misinformation and disinformation campaign against it.

She added that such a development is seriously undermining the development of the country.

She told the forum that a day before meeting with the Liberian Chief Executive, she was told by some individuals in the presence of her party Chairman that the government intended to have her arrested today at the meeting.

The Unity Party flag bearer who has not met with the Liberian leader for a protracted period of time however, expressed her preparedness to work along with the government in the area of national reconciliation and healing.

She indicated that the ensuing national reconciliation conference slated to be held in Liberia next July is one of the possible ways of making such a dream a reality.

Liberian government is organizing the conference.

Speaking at the well-attended occasion, President Taylor called on the political leaders to suggest ways by which the conference's objective of national unity would be achieved.

He reiterated his government's commitment to the rule of law, freedom of the press and expression.

On the issue of the recent ban placed on public gathering, president Taylor clarified that the action does not affect political meetings.

He said the suspension of mass rallies was done in the interest of the state and its people.

He said, there are reports that troublemakers are planning to infiltrate political rallies to cause havoc in the country and blame such criminal act on state security forces.

Meanwhile, the political leaders have reiterated their condemnation of the insurgency launched against the country by the rebel Liberian United for reconciliation and democracy (LURD).

© Robert W. Kranz  09-02-2002