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General News of Saturday, 27 September 2014

Source: GNA

President promises peace and stability in W/A

President John Dramani Mahama on Friday indicated his readiness to use his position as Chairman of Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to settle all disputes that would ensure peace and stability.

He mentioned the fight against Boko Haram in North-Eastern Nigeria, political crisis in Mali and the Ghana- Ivory Coast maritime boundary as some of the issues envisaged to be resolved.

President Mahama made this known when he held a financial community meeting with business partners at the Langham Hotel in Boston Massachusetts as part of his four- day official visit to the State.

President Mahama after attending the 69th United Nations General Assembly meeting in New York on Thursday moved to Boston Massachusetts, where he is expected to deliver two lectures at the Institute of Politics at the Harvard University on Friday and another lecture at the Brandeis University.

The President was given the opportunity to present the state of the nation and sub-region issues and answered questions on Ghana and West Africa.

He said efforts at fighting the Boko Haram Islamist insurgency in North Eastern Nigeria is yielding adequate dividends as the leader of the group Abubakar Shekau has been killed.

He gave the assurance that ECOWAS with the international partners would continue to pursue the issue to a logical conclusion.

Answering a question on the Ghana- Ivory Coast arbitration case on maritime disputes, he said it could settle the issue since several arbitrations proved futile.

President Mahama said after 11 fruitless meetings in four years to resolve the issue amicably, he believes that the International Court of Justice could ensure its perpetual resolution.

This, he said, would not affect the good relations between the two neighbouring West African countries, as he had already held closed-door meetings with his Ivorian counterpart pertaining to the issues at stake.

President Mahama explained West Africa is beefing up measures to contain the insurgency in Mali while similar measures are being pursued to control or avert any disturbance as Togo, Guinea, Nigeria, Ivory Coast and Burkina Faso would be holding presidential and parliamentary elections next year.

On the current Ebola virus plaguing three countries in West Africa, President Mahama said much as the sub-region is doing everything to reverse the unfortunate trend, the leaders would be much comfortable with more international response that could speed up the fight against the deadly disease.

"I am very optimistic that where we have reached, we can do more if we receive more international interventions to speed up our fight to eradicate the disease by the close of the year," President Mahama added.

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