President Thabo Mbeki to Attend Inauguration of Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf

Tshwane - South African President Thabo Mbeki will depart from South Africa on Monday, 16 January 2006 for Monrovia, Liberia where he will attend the inauguration of Africa's first female Head of State, Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.

President Thabo Mbeki will be supported by Foreign Minister Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma who will depart from Côte d'Ivoire for Liberia on Monday, 16 January 2006.

President Thabo Mbeki on 24 November 2005 conveyed the congratulations of the South African government and people to Ellen Johnson Sirleaf on her election saying, "Your election is indeed a victory not only for Liberian women in particular but also represents a beacon of hope for women in Africa and the world in general. It most eloquently makes the unequivocal statement that, indeed, a new dawn has arrived for African women."

President Thabo Mbeki also assured the President-elect that the South African government stands ready and committed to assist in the country's steadfast movement toward the consolidation of democracy and good governance.

President Thabo Mbeki is expected to return to South Africa on Monday, 16 January 2006.

Issued by Ronnie Mamoepa on 082 990 4853

Department of Foreign Affairs
Private Bag X152

15 January 2006

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