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30.06.2008 General News

Bridgewater, Labat Bid ’Bye To President

By Samuel Amoako - newtimesonline.com
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TWO envoys who have ended their duty tour of the country were at the Castle yesterday, to take their leave of President J.A. Kufuor.

They are United States Ambassador Pamela Bridgewater, and the Malian Ambassador, Mohammed Mahmoud Ben Labat.

They were both presented with traditional stools and kente cloths as a token of appreciation for their efforts at strengthening relations between their respective countries and Ghana.

Ms Bridgewater, in addition to her presents, was honoured with the Order of the Star of Volta for her exemplary diplomatic service.

President Kufour said she has been a catalyst for improved bilateral relations between the United States and Ghana, noting that during her three-year duty tour, many eventful developments took place between Ghana and the United States, including his state visit to the USA and a reciprocal one to Ghana by President George Bush, among other high level exchanges.

The President noted that Ghana, during the tenure of Ms Bridgewater, has benefited from many American programmes, including the Millennium Challenge Account and the African Growth and Opportunities Act (AGOA), among others things, and commended her for distinguishing herself as a diplomat.

For her part, Ms Bridgewater expressed gratitude to the government and people of Ghana for their support during her tenure in the country.

At the turn of Mr Labat, President Kufuor, recalled the cordial relations between Mali and Ghana and said the ambassador served very well and lived up to expectation.

"Under you, this special relationship had greater impetus and brought awareness to our people that we have many things in common," he said.

President Kufuor said his visits to Mali really exposed him to the reality of the historical bonds between Ghana and Mali, and added that Mr Labat has been an ambassador who has tried to trace the historical bonds of the two countries.

Mr Labat thanked the government and people of Ghana for their support during his duty tour.

He said he was leaving Ghana after eight years of duty tour with mixed feelings now that he considers himself a Ghanaian, adding that he is proud that there is cooperation between the two countries.

Mr Labat. who is the Dean of the Diplomatic Corps, stressed the need for the consolidation of the cordial relations and pledged to be an ambassador for Ghana wherever he finds himself.

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