Ghana's new ambassador to the United States, Fritz Kwabena Poku, is delighted with the cordial reception he received from President Bush.
The president took time to converse with the envoy about Ghanaian culture and get acquainted with his family when the ambassador presented his credentials at the White House on September 15.
Two weeks after presenting his credentials to the president, the new envoy told the Washington File, "I was very humbled by the president's grace, his vivacity, his affability, and friendship." Ambassador Poku also met with Secretary of State Colin Powell before the credential ceremony at the White House.
Poku, who had been accompanied by his wife, children, brother and sister-in-law at the ceremony, said, "President Bush had time for all the members of my family. He was gracious enough to have a pleasant moment with each of them."
President Bush further impressed the new ambassador with his knowledge about Ghana. "He was full of praise for the culture of my country," Poku said, even remarking on the uniqueness of the traditional kente cloth gowns the envoy and his family were wearing.
The ambassador said Bush also offered his greetings to President John Kufuor of Ghana, whom he had met several times previously in the United States and during his July 2003 visit to Africa. As he accepted Ambassador Poku's credentials, President Bush noted, "As head of the Economic Community of West African States, President Kufuor has worked with his colleagues in Africa and the United States to achieve peace and promote reconciliation, first in Liberia, and more recently in Côte d'Ivoire.
"Ghana has also been a steady partner with the United States in the Global War on Terrorism," Bush added.
At the credentialing ceremony, Bush commented on the fact that both he and President Kufuor were seeking a second term in office. "This shared commitment to the democratic process reflects shared fundamental values that link our two countries. Ghana has demonstrated to all of Africa its respect for the rule of law and its commitment to democracy," Bush said.
Ambassador Poku, who came to the Ghanaian Embassy in Washington in July after a tour as his country's envoy to Austria, said that he would always treasure his first conversation with Bush and the way the president made him feel so at ease.
The professional diplomat has over 30 years of experience in Africa, Europe and America. During that period he served as ambassador to multilateral organizations such as the United Nations, the World Trade Organization and the African Union.
(The Washington File is a product of the Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)