the WHITE HOUSEPresident Barack Obama

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The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release

Readout of the meeting of the National Security Advisor with the Delegation from the Economic Community of West African States

National Security Advisor Tom Donilon welcomed a delegation from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to the White House today to discuss the ongoing crisis in Cote d’Ivoire.  The ECOWAS Delegation was led by President Ernest Bai Koroma of Sierra Leone, accompanied by Ambassador James Victor Gbeho, President of the ECOWAS Commission, Odein H. Ajumogobia, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Nigeria, and Abdel-Fatau M. Musah, the Director for External Relations of the ECOWAS Commission, as well as the Ambassadors from Nigeria and Sierra Leone, and two ministers from Sierra Leone.

Mr. Donilon expressed appreciation for the opportunity to meet with the members of the delegation, and to hear their analysis of the situation and proposed way forward in Cote D’Ivoire. Mr. Donilon expressed strong support for the efforts of ECOWAS to facilitate a peaceful transition of power in Cote D’Ivoire.  Mr. Donilon and the ECOWAS delegation reaffirmed their shared commitment to see that the winner of the recent elections, Alassane Ouattara, takes his rightful role as President of Cote D’Ivoire, and their shared resolve to see former President Laurent Gbagbo cede power.  They also discussed the importance of maintaining international unity on this point, as previously endorsed by the African Union, ECOWAS, and the UN Security Council.  Mr. Donilon and the ECOWAS delegation agreed to continue our close coordination going forward.