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30.03.2004 General News

Iranian delegation calls at Foreign Ministry

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Accra, March 30, GNA - Dr Kamal Kharrazi, Iranian Foreign Minister, on Tuesday said Iran was anxious to explore areas of mutual economic and bilateral interest between both countries. He said Iran attached a lot of importance to relations with African countries and was, therefore, focusing on investing in Africa. Dr Kharrazi, who is leading an 82-man Iranian Economic Delegation on a two-day visit to Ghana, said this when he called on Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo-Addo, Minister of Foreign Affairs, at his office in Accra.

Dr Kharrazi said their visit to Ghana was to hold discussions with the private sector, assess the needs and capabilities of both countries and take decisions on how to collaborate in areas beneficial to Ghana and Iran. Nana Akuffo-Addo said the relations between both countries began about 30 years ago and the visit was an opportunity to renew the ties. He said Ghana was a peaceful and secular country that respected the fundamental human rights of its citizens. "The religious freedom of this country is guaranteed by the Constitution and we have a tolerant society", he said.

Nana Akuffo-Addo said the Government was making efforts to promote private sector development because it was essential to its economic growth. He expressed the hope that the delegation would find mutual areas of cooperation with their Ghanaian counterparts. Highlights of the Iranian delegation's visit would be the signing of a Development Assistance Agreement under which Iran would give Ghana 1.5 million dollars for budgetary support. The delegation is expected to call on President John Agyekum Kufuor, hold commercial and economic meeting with Ghanaian businessmen and also visit the Islamic University in Accra. They would leave for Nigeria on Wednesday. Ghana was their second point of call after Senegal.

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