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04.03.2009 Politics

United States Delegation Calls on President

By ISD (Elorm Ametepe)

A United States delegation, led by Ms Mary Carlin Yates, Deputy to the Commander for Civil-Military Activities of the United States Africa Command (based in Stuttgart, Germany) yesterday paid a courtesy call on the President, Professor John Evans Atta Mills at the Castle, Osu in Accra.

The delegation is in the country to share with President Mills, more about the US Africa Command and what the command is doing to work with the Ghanaian security forces.

Ms Yates on behalf of the US Africa Command congratulated President Mills for his success at the 2008 general elections and commended Ghanaians for ensuring that democracy has taken roots in the country.

According to Ms Yates, who was the former US Ambassador to Ghana between 2002 and 2005, the entire US Africa Command watched the December 2008 polls and could describe Ghana's democratic process as a model for Africa.

The Command, she said, believes that Ghana's way of choosing leaders to administer the country through the polls between political parties proves that democracy has taken roots in the Ghanaian society.

'We believe that the way Ghana has changed its administration, not once but twice between parties is now part and unequal model in all of Africa and I think it means democracy is well rooted and well founded here in Ghana', she said.  

Welcoming the US delegation, President Mills recalled the cordial relations that existed between the US Embassy and opposition political parties during her administration as the US Ambassador to Ghana, stressing that she did not discriminate between the opposition parties and the government through her open door policy.

He said the willingness to listen; encouragement and ideas the former US envoy gave to the opposition as well as government motivated the nation to continue to uphold democracy and rule of law.

Governance, President Mills noted, is a continuous process, however, governments must avoid abusing the confidence the people reposed in them from time to time. He assured the delegation that government will continue to uphold democracy, continue with an open society, where there is respect for rule of law, human rights and the country's resources used for the benefit of all the people.

'The people of this country have decided that they want democracy, they want to be able to choose their leaders, and if for any reason there should be a change of leadership, Ghanaians want to be given the right and the opportunity to do so. This is exactly what they did last December' the President said.

President Mills commended Madam Yates and others whose tireless efforts ensured that Ghanaians were given the opportunity to express their feelings during the December polls and for democracy to gain roots in the country.

He described America as a friend whose model of democracy Ghanaians must learn from. Ghana, he observed, has for many years and many of us have benefited from our close cooperation and friendship over the years.