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02.08.2005 Religion

We don't separate people on basis of religion - Yates

GNA

Tamale, Aug. 2, GNA - The United States Ambassador in Ghana, Mrs Mary Carlin Yates has stated that "it is never the policy of the US Mission to separate people either on the basis of religion or ethnicity". She said: "Our Muslim friends sometimes ask me, what the US Mission is doing for Muslims. I have to respond that we do not separate out Ghanaians on the basis of religion or ethnicity."

Ambassador Yates was addressing personnel of agencies of the US Mission, nongovernmental organisations (NGOs0, the security agencies, authorities of the University for Development Studies (UDS), the Media and staff of the Local Government Institute in Tamale to bid them farewell after her three-year duty tour of Ghana.

She explained that any assistance programme that targeted any geographic area would benefit Muslims if they were in that area. She pointed out that all the health and education projects and food assistance programme that the Mission had embarked on had benefited the Muslim communities as well.

Mrs Yates said: "The United States Embassy has made very concrete and positive efforts to expand our contacts with Muslim Communities in Ghana.

"We want all Ghanaians including Muslims to be aware of our programmes, whether it is development or humanitarian assistance, Peace Corps teachers or study programmes in the US," she said.

She, therefore, asked Muslim community organisations, NGOs, youth groups and students to participate in these programmes by using the Ghana-US Resource Centre in Tamale or the US Embassy in Accra to find out more about the programmes.

She said the US Mission would continue to partner with the Government to advance the development agenda of the country. Mr Haruna Iddrisu, Member of Parliament for Tamale South, thanked Ambassador Yates for promoting U.S./Muslim relations in Ghana. He commended the U.S. Government for its support to the University for Development Studies, especially its Medical School; the guinea worm eradication and food security programmes to help to alleviate poverty in the Northern Region.

The Ambassador had earlier paid courtesy calls on Muslim Leaders in Tamale and the Northern Regional Minister, Alhaji Abubakar Saddique Boniface.

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