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27.03.2006 General News

Two pay courtesy calls on President Kufuor

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Accra, March 27, GNA - President John Agyekum Kufuor on Monday received a special message from his Algerian counterpart, Mr Abdul Aziz Bouteflika, at the Castle, Osu.

The contents of the message, delivered by Mr Abdelkader Messahel, Minister in charge of Maghreban and Africa, were, however, not disclosed. Speaking after th e formal handing over of the message to President Kufuor; Mr Messahel said he had been mandated to discuss ways of strengthening bilateral relations between Ghana and Algeria as well as issues of importance to Africa.

He also spoke on the political situation in the Western Sahara, which, for years had been on the agenda of the United Nations (UN) and said the consensus was to allow the people there the right to self-determination.

President Kufuor said he was happy with the message on deepening bilateral relations between the two countries as well as the holding of discussions on matters about the Continent including the right of self-determination by the people of Western Sahara. Also at the Castle to pay a courtesy call on President Kufuor was the Deputy Secretary-General of the World Customs Organisation, Mr Kunio Mikuriya.

He was in Ghana to explore how the country's Customs, Excise and Preventive Service (CEPS) could make more significant contributions to the International Customs Organisation. Ghana customs is providing important leadership in West Africa and Central Africa. President Kufuor said his Government was making efforts to develop the communication systems and enhance security to facilitate trade. He said the state of customs collection was critical to the nation adding: "Without a healthy collection system, we would not succeed." He expressed the hope that by being part of the World Organisation, the CEPS would become more efficient. 27 March 06