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12.11.2008 Politics

Prez Holds farewell Meeting With Envoys

By Samuel Amoako -

PRESIDENT J.A. Kufuor yesterday called on the  country's diplomats to accord  the next government the same loyalty they gave to his administration.

As career diplomats, he said, they should not entertain any fears to advise the government or make meaningful suggestions on issues of national concern.

Addressing the opening ceremony of a conference for Ghana's Ambassadors and High  Commissioners in Accra, President Kufuor urged the envoys to be  concerned  about the country and its foreign policy  interest.

“You should be bold enough to advise the government or make a suggestion if you think there is something inimical”, he said.

President Kufuor expressed gratitude to the ambassadors for serving with him to formulate and implement foreign policies which have impacted positively on the country.

On his departure from office in January next year, he said, the next President was likely to change most of them and expressed the hope that the changes would be calculated to ensure efficiency in the implementation of every policy.

He said that the foreign policies the ambassadors helped to formulate and implement had helped to put Ghana  on a high pedestal among the comity of  nations in the world.

He said the first policy of promoting good neighbourliness when he assumed office  helped to enhance relations with countries in the sub-region and added that it was not surprising that Ghana was made the chair of the Economic Community of West African States  (ECOWAS) for two terms.

With that position and efforts made to promote peace, he said Ghana came on the radar of the international community with acknowledgements from across the world as a broker of peace.

The President recalled the assurance Ghana received from Nigeria when he first assumed office and said it demonstrated  ample evidence of economic diplomacy which was the result of collective efforts of himself and the ambassadors.

Through such prudent foreign policies, he said, Ghana was again elected to chair the African Union and the goodwill and acknowledgements that came with it, coupled with the good performance of the ambassadors drew the attention of the G8 to Ghana and extended invitations to her to attend its meetings.

He mentioned the assistance Ghana received over the past eight years from the United Kingdom, France, the United States of America, Germany, India, Japan, Brazil, Italy, the Netherlands and the rest of the world as being the result of good  foreign policies which the ambassadors helped to implement.

“There is so much to be derived from our good foreign policy and I believe Ghana has gained under this more than any government since independence”, he said.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and NEPAD, Mr Akwasi Osei Adjei, briefed the ambassadors on the history of Ghana's foreign policy and said it had been  pursued with a fair  degree of consistency since independence.

Ghana's High Commissioner to United Kingdom,  Mr Annan Cato, on behalf of his colleagues, thanked the President for the opportunity given to them to serve.