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General News of Thursday, 17 March 2005

Source: GNA

US calls for strong military cooperation with Ghana

Accra, March 17, GNA - US Major General Michael Haugen, Adjutant General of North Dakota Guard on Thursday called for a strong military cooperation between Ghana and the US to facilitate the provision of social services to the poor in society.

"The US Army has a lot to offer the country in addressing the perennial floods Ghana faces and in post disaster management", he said. Major General Haugen said this when he paid a courtesy call on the Minister of Defence Dr. Kwame Addo Kufuor to discuss the way forward for the Ministry.

The General arrived on Wednesday in Ghana on a four-day visit to begin the US National Guard State Partnership Programme with the Ghana Armed Forces.

The State Partnership Programme (SPP) between the US National Guards and other countries was established in 1993 and 42 American states, two territories and the District of Columbia are partnered with 48 countries worldwide.

Ghana is the second State Partner in sub-Saharan Africa and the first in West Africa.

General Haugen said that US government was looking for the sharing of expertise with the Ghana Armed Forces and also to encourage exchange programmes between the two countries.

The State Partnership programme strives to achieve military interoperability between the US and partner nation forces, assist with the development of democratic institutions and foster open market economies to help develop stability.

He said that Ghana was selected by the United States for National Guard State Partnership programme because of the way it has distinguished herself in international peace keeping operations. Dr Addo Kufuor called on the US government to assist Ghana in addressing drug trafficking and armed robbery, which was on the increase.

He said the Ministry was looking forward to cooperate with the US Army in any field for the benefits of the two countries. The Minister presented a shield to the General, who in turn presented a book on the State of North Dakota to the Minister.

The General visited the Kofi Annan Peace Keeping Training Centre. He will also visit the Bundase Military Camp and the Jungle Warfare School at Achiase.

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