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11.03.2006 General News

Ghana, Burkina Faso Relations discussed

By GNA

Ouagadougou, March 11, GNA - Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has called for urgent attention to the outstanding issues in respect of border demarcation and cooperation between judicial institutions in Ghana and Burkina Faso.

Addressing the 9th Joint Ghana-Burkina Faso Permanent Commission for Cooperation in Ouagadougou, The Foreign Minister said other areas such as social welfare, sports, the environment and telecommunications must be addressed to ensure that cooperation between the two countries are further strengthened.

"I am confident that by the conclusion of this Session substantial progress will have been made in reaching some concurrence in these areas."

He commended the work done by experts on both sides in preparing documents for cooperation between the two countries, adding, "we will proceed to conduct our affairs in the understanding of our shared commonality as I have already indicated, and our desire within membership of sub regional and regional organisations to work towards closer cooperation."

He noted that that their membership of the Community of Sahel Saharan States (CENSAD) at the last Heads of States should provide additional opportunities for collaboration for Ghana and Burkina Faso to work towards the promotion of peace and sustainable development in the sub-region.

The Ghana-Burkina Faso Joint Commission is addressing pertinent issues, including border demarcation, sports, military and security cooperation, health and social welfare, cultural and scientific cooperation, Regional integration, trade and economic cooperation. Nana Akufo Addo admitted that even though the documents on cooperation between Ghana and Burkina Faso were prepared in May 2001, relations between the two countries have grown tremendously.

Recounting developments in Ghana, the Foreign Minister said there had been "considerable transformation" under the leadership of the President John Agyekum Kufuor, adding, "The period has witnessed the consolidation of the principles of good governance, the rule of law, and the institution of a democratic culture in the political climate of Ghana.

"This has resulted in an enabling economic environment which has attracted investors helping to engender sustainable economic growth and development."

In the area of Foreign Policy, the Foreign Minister said, the government of Ghana has also sought to foster good neighbourliness with our immediate neighbours, while actively ensuring that there is peace and security in the sub region.

He said Ghana has been supportive of efforts to restore peace in the Cote d'Ivoire through the African Union and UN efforts to advance the road map for peace in that country.

"In this respect one cannot but emphasize that peace and stability are prerequisites to development."

He assured his Burkinabe counterparts that, following the conclusion of the accord, the Government of Ghana will ensure that there is a mechanism for continuous political consultations with Burkina Faso which will facilitate the implementation of the agreement. He however, said both countries could succeed only if they commit themselves to meeting regularly to update both countries on the implementation of the agreement.

Nana Akufo-Addo stressed the need to devote attention, time and resources to the implementation of the agreement with strong political will on both sides in support of the work of the Joint Commission. He said Ghana looks forward to hosting the 10th Session of the Commission at an early date to ensure that the ties between the two countries get better. 11 March 06

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