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General News of Monday, 30 October 2017

Source: citifmonline.com

Fruitful talks held with Embassies on ill-treatment of Ghanaians – Government

Foreign Affairs Minister, Shirley Ayorkor Botchway, has described as fruitful government negotiations with some embassies over the ill-treatment meted out to Ghanaians who throng foreign missions in search of travelling visas.

The Minister’s comments follow the Speaker of Parliament’s directive to Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee last week, to investigate cases of alleged dehumanizing treatment meted out to Ghanaians at some embassies.

In an interview with Citi News, Shirley Ayorkor Botchway said most of the foreign missions engaged so far by the Ministry, have been responsive to the complaints from Ghanaians.

“We have been engaging with these embassies and informing them of the problems that Ghanaians are faced with when they come for visas and it has been very fruitful. We have had meetings with the UK High Commission, we have had meetings with the US Embassy, we have had meetings with the Chinese Embassy.”

Poor treatment of Ghanaians must stop – Ablakwa

The Minority Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, had expressed concerns about the plight of many Ghanaians at a number of embassies, noting the “dehumanizing treatment sometimes meted out to many applicants virtually on a daily basis.”

Mr. Ablakwa, noted that the situation could affect diplomatic relations in Ghana if not checked.

Making a statement on the floor of Parliament, the North Tongu MP said: “the blot I speak of is the shabby and dehumanizing treatment sometimes meted out to many Ghanaian applicants virtually on a daily basis.”

Investigate ‘ill-treatment’ of Ghanaians at Embassies – Speaker orders
The Speaker of Parliament, Prof. Mike Oquaye, then directed the Foreign Affairs Committee of Parliament to immediately investigate claims that Ghanaians are being maltreated at some foreign missions in the country.

“Parliament’s Committee on Foreign Affairs shall meet and deliberate on this matter through investigation and interrogation; and armed with a letter from the Speaker’s Office, they shall visit relevant embassies and places, analyse the problem, where necessary with the cooperation of Embassy staff, and our own foreign office, but independent of it, and report back to the House,” the Speaker said.

The Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, Frank Annor Dompreh, had earlier said that his Committee was aware of the situation, and would team up with the Foreign Affairs Ministry on how best to deal with this worrying trend.

“It has become so important and poignant that we take some important decisions and make some attempts to resolve this concern once and for all,” he said.

Mr. Annor Dompreh indicated the need for a thorough investigation, saying “there are some of these embassies that are doing a very good job and they need to be supported and encouraged.”