Accra, Feb. 2, GNA - Ghana will continue to offer unflinching support to peace and mediation efforts and attempts by the African Union (AU) to promote greater unity among the nations of Africa, Foreign Minister, Nana Addo-Dankwa Akufo Addo said on Thursday.
He said "Ghana will remain in peacekeeping missions in troubled parts of the Continent, and elsewhere in the world whenever needed". Nana Akufo Addo, who was addressing members of the Diplomatic Corps in Accra pledged Ghana's determination in continuing as a respectable member of the comity of nations, duly discharging its obligations and fully committed to peaceful relations with all friendly nations. He said the country expected to consolidate her relations in the international community, pursue its policy of good neighbourliness and maintain mutually beneficial economic and political relations with all countries within the West African Sub-Region.
"We will not relent our support to the peace process in Cote d'Ivoire, which is being spearheaded by the International Working Group (IWG) and it is anticipated that peace and security will be consolidated in Togo, Sierra Leone Liberia and Guinea Bissau", he said. Nana Akufo Addo further indicated that Ghana believed that by entrenching principles of good governance and democratic culture within the body politic as well as creating enabling economic environment, the county would attract relevant private sector investment and support to promote rapid growth and development.
The Foreign Minster held that Ghana's relations with the United States had been given a boost with the announcement by the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) of the country's second successive eligibility for the second tranche of the Millennium Challenge Account (MCA) facility.
He said with Ghana sailing through the due diligence successfully with a deal likely to be reached by mid 2006, it was expected that the compact proposal estimated at 517 million dollars would create about 350,000 jobs and take 3.5 million Ghanaians out of poverty.
Nana Akuffo Addo described Ghana-Canada relations as 'enhanced' over the years through various assistance programmes, notable among them being the 3.2 million Canadian dollars CIDA package to Parliament, 15 million dollars as direct financial assistance to 34 districts in Northern Ghana and increased official development assistance from 12.5 million dollars to 55.8 million dollars.
Ghana stepped up her bilateral relationship with Brazil with the resuscitation of the dormant Ghana Brazil Permanent Joint Commission for Cooperation.
He noted that Ghana continued to enjoy fruitful relations with other countries in the Americas and the Caribbean adding, "there is a development that promises much in enhanced exchanges between Jamaica and Ghana in the areas of bauxite development and tourism promotion". On the Middle East and Asia, Nana Akufo Addo stressed that a very cordial and beneficial relations with various countries of the region was being maintained saying the signing of bilateral agreements and frequent exchange of visits manifested these fruitful relations. Regarding the Israel-Palestinian Conflict, he noted that Ghana supported fully international efforts towards finding a just and lasting peace in that area.
"Ghana welcomes the withdrawal of Israeli forces from the Gaza Strip and part of the West Bank and the handing over of the Rafah boarder crossing to the Palestinians."
On the Iran Nuclear Programme, the Foreign Minister was quick to point out that Ghana, in principle, not only unequivocally opposed to the acquisition of nuclear weapons by new States but also supported strongly the elimination altogether of nuclear weapons by the nuclear club of nations for the sake of peace and security.
He stated that Ghana had been elected by the UN General Assembly to the UN Security Council to occupy the non-permanent seat allotted to the West Africa Region for 2006 to 2007.
Nana Akufo Addo said Ghana served on the enlarged follow-up mechanism that was to canvass support for Africa's position to have not less that two permanent seats with each of the five regions of the Continent having non-permanent seats.
The AU would be responsible for the selection of Africa's representatives in the Security Council. 02 Feb. 06