Obama speaks with presidents of Liberia, Sierra Leone over Ebola

WASHINGTON, Aug. 14 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Barack Obama spoke by phone on Thursday with President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia and President Ernest Bai Koroma of Sierra Leone separately over the current Ebola outbreak, the White House said.

In his conversations with both leaders, Obama underscored U.S. commitment to work with Liberia, Sierra Leone, and other international partners to contain the outbreak and expressed his condolences for the lives lost, the White House said in a statement.

"The leaders discussed ongoing mitigation measures, including those directed through the Monrovia-based U.S. Disaster Assistance Response Team and deployed personnel in both Liberia and Sierra Leone from the (U.S.) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention," it said.

"The President further noted that, while their participation was missed, he appreciated President Sirleaf and President Koroma' s decisions to forgo last week's U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit in Washington, D.C. to tend to the outbreak."

The phone calls came as the U.S. Department of State ordered the departure of family members of its diplomats in Sierra Leone over the Ebola outbreak.