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18.05.2004 General News

Help us to train our soldiers - Aliu asks India

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Accra, May 18, GNA - Vice President Aliu Mahama on Monday urged the Indian Armed Forces to assist in the training of their Ghanaian counterparts, particularly the Air Force.

The Vice President made the request when he received a delegation of Senior Students from the Indian National War College at the Castle, Osu. The 14-member delegation, led by Major General Ashok Vasudeva, Senior Directing Staff, is on a week's study tour of Ghana.

Vice President Mahama lauded the rich expertise of the Indian Army, saying Ghana was grateful for the quality training it offered to many of Ghana's military experts, including Lieutenant-General Seth Obeng, Chief of Defence Staff.

He said the high cost of training involved in military training was burdensome for Ghana's economy, which was still in the process of growing.

"We, however, acknowledge that the issue of defence is crucial for development because we need peace and stability to progress," he said. Vice President Mahama told the guests that Ghana was committed to strengthening its democracy and economy through good governance and making investments safe for business people, adding that it was appreciative of India's support in that direction.

He said the Indian Community in Ghana was one of the largest, while India had the second highest investment in the country.

He stressed the warm cooperation between Ghana and India since the days of Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and President Kwame Nkrumah and the role the two heroes played in the formation of the Non-Aligned Movement.

Maj-Gen. Ashok said his country was determined to expand its cooperation with Ghana on various fronts and commended Ghana's outstanding hospitality.

The delegation, which has already held discussions with the Defence Minister, Dr kwame Addo Kufuor, would meet the Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Finance and Economic Planning and others. It would visit Elmina, Kakum Park, Cocoa Research Institute at Tafo and other places of interest before it leaves for Germany on Friday. The Deputy Minister of Defence, Mr Joseph Akudibillah and Lt-Gen. Obeng were at the meeting, which the Indian High Commissioner to Ghana also attended.

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