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20.10.2008 Politics

President Kufuor leaves for Netherlands

By gna

President John Agyekum Kufuor left Accra on Sunday for a three-day state visit to the Netherlands at the invitation of Queen Beatrix, beginning Tuesday October 21 to Thursday 24 October.

The President would address a joint session of the Dutch Senate and the House of Representatives.

A statement signed by Mr Andrew Awumi, Press Secretary to the President and Presidential Spokesman, released to GNA before the Presidents departure, said the long standing relations between Ghana and the Netherlands will be reviewed as well as other high level meetings with key officials of the Dutch Government including Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende.

It said Queen Beatrix will receive President Kufuor and First Lady Theresa at an official ceremony at the Noordeinde Palace, where the presidential delegation will take residence for the period of the visit.

The statement said a business meeting, to be hosted by the Dutch Trade Minister and Chairman of Economic Affairs at the De Bazel Conference Center, will afford the presidential delegation a direct interaction with top executives of the Netherlands industry and employers.

It said other features of the visit include a wreath laying at the Dutch National Monument in memory of heroes of World War Two, a study tour of the Sitos facilities (an international soft commodity logistics company, with special focus on cocoa and Vitens-Evides, the largest drinking water company in The Netherlands.

From The Netherlands President Kufuor will go to the United Kingdom where as a guest of the Royal Institute of International Affairs he will be decorated with the prestigious Chatham House Prize for 2008, by the Duke of Edinburgh.

Chatham House announced last month the selection of President Kufuor in recognition of his positive role in mediating conflicts in Ghana's immediate neighbours including Liberia and Cote d'Ivoire.

The selection was also due to his contributions to the growth of Ghana's the economy, social freedom and the development of a free press.

At the airport to see President Kufuor off were the Vice President Alhaji Aliu Mahama, Ministers of state, Chief of Defence Staff, Lieutenant General J.B. Danquah and Inspector General of Police Patrick Acheampong.

The President is expected back home on October 28.