TOGOLESE PRES FAURE GNASSINGBE IS NEW ECOWAS CHAIRPERSON

MONROVIA, Togolese President Faure Gnassingbe has been named the new chairperson of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in Liberia's capital Monrovia.

He takes over the rotational role from Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf who faced a tough task in her 12-month tenure.

This was announced at the 51st ECOWAS Summit of Heads of State held for the first time in Liberia on Sunday.

In attendance was the Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu who congratulated the incoming chairperson and invited the West African leaders to the Africa-Israel summit to be held in Togo in October.

Faure Gnassingbe will face a less tedious task as chairperson compared to President Sirleaf who was faced with the electoral crisis in The Gambia.

President Gnassingbe will officially assume the role at the end of the Summit.

Leaders of 15 West African states and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu are in Liberia for the 51st Ordinary Summit of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

This is the first ECOWAS Summit to be held in Liberia, and the first to be participated by a non-African leader.

The Summit commenced on Saturday in Liberia's capital Monrovia following a late cancellation by Morroco's King Mohammed VI who was expected to push for his country to join the regional grouping as a full member after a successful bid to rejoin the African Union early this year.

His cancellation was due to the attendance of the Israeli Prime Minister to avoid any confusion.

King Mohammed VI wishes his first presence at an ECOWAS summit not to take place in a context of tension and controversy, Moroccan authorities said on Thursday.

Netanyahu was received by Liberian President and outgoing ECOWAS Chairperson Ellen Johnson Sirleaf in Monrovia on Sunday morning.

Other leaders present at the Summit in Liberia are Gambia's President Adama Barrow, Ghana's President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, Burkina Faso's President Roch Kabore and Ivorian President Alassane Ouattara among other delegates.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK