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10.05.2007 South Africa

President Kufuor returns from South Africa

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President John Agyekum Kufuor, Chairman of the African Union arrived in the country on Wednesday night from South Africa.

He attended the 7th Ordinary Session of the Pan-African Parliament (PAP).

Briefing the press at the Kotoka International Airport, Mr Andrew Awuni, Presidential Spokesman, who was on the trip with the President, explained that PAP had powers to examine and to express an opinion on any matter on the African continent.

Mr Awuni said PAP could also make recommendations it may deem fit to the AU Assembly or other policy organs of the Union on matters relating to human rights, consolidation of democratic institutions and the rule of law in Africa.

He said the 265 members of PAP were elected by the Parliaments of the 53 countries of the Union.

Mr Awuni said since its formation in March 2004, President Kufuor was the first AU Chairman to have addressed it.

He said the President accepted to address the House to serve as encouragement to the parliamentarians.

Mr Awuni said it served as official acknowledgement of the Executive Arm of the AU to the legislative body.

He said President Kufuor used the occasion to hold bilateral talks with the South African President, Thabo Mbeki and visited the NEPAD Secretariat based in South Africa.

Mr Awuni said the meeting gave the two leaders the opportunity to affirm bilateral relationship.

President Kufuor was accompanied by Mrs Mercy Bampong-Addo, a Deputy Minister at the office of the President, Ambassador D. K. Osei, Secretary to the President and Dr J. Hemann Ghana's High Commissioner to South Africa.

Ministers of State, Senior Security Officers and cross section of the public were at the Airport to welcome President Kufuor and his entourage.

The PAP is the legislative body of the AU, with oversight, advisory and consultative powers, to engender peace, security and stability in Africa.

Its mandate is also to ensure that African governments adhere to the tenets of good governance, transparency and accountability, strengthen a sense of solidarity and build a common destiny among the peoples.

Source: GNA

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