Côte d'Ivoire + 1 more

Liberian leader to attend Paris peace talks on Côte d'Ivoire

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Monrovia, Liberia (PANA) - Liberian President Charles Taylor said Friday he would honour an invitation from the French government to attend talks afoot in Paris on the crisis in neighbouring Cote d'Ivoire.
The Liberian leader told a news conference at the State House in Monrovia that his government was committed to all efforts directed at restoring peace in Cote d'Ivoire, including moves initiated by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

Taylor denied the Liberian government was involved in the military debacle in Cote d'Ivoire, saying Monrovia could not afford any military adventures abroad while facing an armed insurgency from neighbouring Guinea, coupled with UN sanctions.

He admitted, however, that there were Liberians fighting along side rebels in Cote d'Ivoire, describing them as "mercenaries" who would face prosecution when caught.

On the question of looted goods being brought into Liberia, Taylor said his government does not have the capacity to patrol the 660-km border with Cote d'Ivoire to check any such flow.

He said the Liberian government would be asking the French government to use its helicopters to help monitor the border with Cote d'Ivoire.

Taylor declined to comment on newspaper reports that the Liberian government had offered its territory to French troops to help quash the military uprising in Cote d'Ivoire should the current talks in Paris peace fail.

Pan African News Agency
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