Ghanaian President John Agyekum Kufuor yesterday paid a courtesy call on President Jacques Chirac of France at the Palais d'Elysee in Paris. This was the highest point of Kufuor's visit to France, where he addressed UNESCO General Conference and 60th anniversary recently.
President Kufuor is said to have arrived at the Palace and inspected a guard of honour mounted for him. He later held bilateral talks with President Chirac within the frame work of NEPAD and other related matters bordering on peace and stability in West Africa.
Speaking to the press afterwards, the President said the meeting with French President went very well. Asked on the situation in Cote d'Ivoire, he said “African Leaders are currently meeting in Addis Ababa to conclude on the way forward.”
He hoped the UN would expand its involvement to facilitate a quicker disarmament of all forces so that the programme for election could come on as planned and sooner.
At bilateral level, the two Chiefs of State agreed to intensify political dialogue between Ghana and France and to develop visits between the two countries. Several cooperations and development projects were also mentioned,a release issued by the French Embassy in Accra today disclosed.
"At the International level, the discussion focused on the situation in West Africa, particularly in Ivory Coast. The two Presidents noticed that, they share the same views regarding the necessary efforts to be made in order to implement the national reconciliation process, which depends on indisputable and transparent elections.
"President Chirac reminded that France supports the State members of the African Union and the ECOWAS towards this aim. He said, France is favourable to an increasing role of the United Nations, in accordance with the African Union's will, and faces up to her responsibilities towards this aim, at the Security Council as well as on the ground," the release said.
President Kufuor also met representatives of various groups in the Ghanaian Community in France.
He briefed them on the current state of affairs back home in Ghana. They expressed their satisfaction with the level of progress in development so far and encouraged the President and his government to endeavour to do more. They also pledged to support the government in order to bring more development to the people.
The President was accompanied by the Education and Sports Minister, Hon. Nana Yaw Osafo Maafo; Ambassador D. K. Osei; Ambassador Albert Owusu Sarpong; Deputy Minister, Mrs. Mercy Bampoe-Addo and Presidential Spokesperson Kwabena Agyepong.