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28.04.2006 Politics

President Kufuor Grants Audience To Two Separate Delegations


President John Agyekum Kufuor has called for an end to religious extremism, the base of many conflicts plaguing the world, by showing respect for each other's right to genuinely express and practice various faiths. Misunderstanding of religion, he noted, was the main cause of the many conflicts, threatening global peace.

President Kufuor was receiving a 10-member delegation of the International Religious Liberty Association led by its Deputy General Secretary, Mr John Graz, at the Castle, Osu, in Accra yesterday.

The Association with its headquarters in Maryland, United States (US), is a worldwide organisation, that brings together people of different faith including Christians, Muslims and Hindus and has been championing and defending religious freedom.

They are in the country for their conference. The choice of Ghana, they said was influenced by the recognition of the Government's protection and promotion of religious freedom.

President Kufuor said when it came to matters of faith, it was up to the individual to choose and that it would be a serious aberration to try to determine or control how this was done. He described as an honour to Ghana, the decision by the Association to meet in the country for its conference.

Mr Graz paid tribute to the Government, for its respect for religious freedom saying; "Ghana is a good example." He said the Association had been helping people of different faith to look at religious freedom as a factor of peace and security.

Also at the Castle to pay a courtesy call on President Kufuor was the Deputy Head of Societé Générale (SG-SSB), Mr Phillippe Vigue, who is in the country for a two-day visit. He said his visit was to help him to have better understanding of the economy and its performance.

He said they were satisfied about the improving economic environment adding that President Kufuor's personal contribution to peace, which had earned the respect of the international community, made them to feel comfortable putting their investment in the country. Societe General runs banks in 42 countries and they have been in Ghana for the past three years.

Responding, President Kufuor said the Government was serious to get the attention of the world focused on the good things happening in the country. He said there were people committed to supporting his administration to organise Ghana to become the hub of finance, transport and good governance in the West African Sub-Region.

President Kufuor said he was hopeful that by the time Mr Vigue ended his visit he would become convinced that "Ghana is the country to look at" and suggested a change of the name of the Bank to SG-Ghana.