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21.07.2004 General News

Ghana to host another Meeting on Cote d'Ivoire

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Accra, July 21, GNA - Ghana is to host yet another high-level meeting of all Ivorian political forces in Accra on July 29 to push forward the Ivorian peace process.

Briefing High Commissioners and Ambassadors accredited to Ghana in Accra on Wednesday, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, Minister of Foreign Affairs, said the meeting, to be convened at the instance of Busumuru Kofi Annan, UN Secretary-General, was a follow-up to an initial one held at the just-ended Third Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union (AU) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Ivorian President Luarent Gbagbo and the Prime Minister Seydou Diarra would attend the meeting. South Africa's President Thabo Mbeki and Nigeria President Olusegun Obasanjo are also expected to attend the meeting to be hosted by President John Agyekum Kufuor.

The Presidents of Gabon, Burkina Faso, Togo and Benin, who attended the Addis Abbaba meeting, have indicated their willingness to attend. Also expected are Busumuru Annan, Mr Alpha Omar Konare, Chairman of the African Union Commission, Dr Mohamed Ibn Chambas, Executive Secretary of Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), and Mr Lansana Kouyate, Executive Secretary of L'organisation Pour La Francophonie.

Nana Akufo-Addo said the leaders of the main political forces, namely former President Konan Bedie, opposition Leader Mr Alassane Ouattara, former Prime Minister Mr Afie N'Guessan and a leader of the New Forces, Guillamme Soro would be present.

Nana Akufo-Addo said the Government was optimistic that the Accra meeting would find a solution and put the peace process in Cote d'Ivoire finally and irreversibly back on track.

"I would like to take this opportunity on behalf of the Government to appeal through you to your respective governments and institutions to do whatever they can to help promote a spirit of compromise and conciliation amongst the Ivorian actors."

This, he said, would ensure the success of the meeting and the resumption of normal governmental activity in Cote d'Ivoire in conditions of peace and renewed unity.

President Kufuor is expected to meet some of the leaders in Accra ahead of the Accra meeting while President Gbagbo is also to meet the Burkinabe and Malian Presidents before the Accra meeting to fashion out some useful points for advancing peace in the country, the Foreign Minister said.

He said the Committee of Six Heads of State representing the various regions of the continent was established by the Assembly to consult further on ways of addressing complex issues including peace and security in the definition of a Common African Defence and Security Policy.

Nana Akufo-Addo said Ghana informed the Assembly of the hosting in Accra of the next Africa Region Preparatory meeting for the Second World Summit on the Information Society billed for Tunisia in November 2005 and asked for goodwill in securing participation of target countries.

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