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General News of Thursday, 9 December 2010

Source: GNA

Respect the will of the people -Mills tells African leaders

Accra, Dec. 9, GNA - President John Evans Atta Mills on Thursday repeated his call on African leaders to respect the will of the people to forestall conflicts.

He said when leaders realised that the people had an undeniable right to choose, who should lead them, and they used the resources to the benefit of the people, there would be peace and harmony on the continent.

President Mills made the remark when he received Letters of Credence from five envoys accredited to Ghana at the Flagstaff House in Accra. They were Mr Joseph Obiang Ndoutoume from Gabon; Andre Semadeni, from Switzerland; Mr Mohamed Eisa Ismail Dahab, from Sudan; Mr Cherif Omar Diagne from Senegal and Mr Robert Miller from Jamaica.

In a discourse with Mr Ndoutoume, President Mills noted that the time when the will of the people was subverted was a thing of the past. President Mills said the wind of change for the collective will of the people must be maximized to show to the rest of the world that the African could excel with transparent and accountable governments. The President expressed the hope that Ghana could learn from the expertise of Gabon in the oil industry.

Mr Ndoutoume said he would explore and initiate areas of co-operation beyond the economic, monetary, financial, private and public investment. He suggested to African leaders to use the setbacks on the Continent to explore new avenues with the view of changing the course of development.

At the turn of Mr Semadeni, the Swiss Ambassador, President Mills recalled with fond memories of cordial relations between Ghana and Switzerland, and affirmed Ghana's readiness to step up relations. He registered Ghana's appreciation to the European nation for her budgetary support to Ghana since 2002, and commended her on the neutrality and love for democracy.

President Mills said there was the need for the two nations to continue to co-operate to achieve the best for their peoples.

He recalled with appreciation the warm reception and cordiality accorded him during his visit to Switzerland last August. President Mills extolled the legacy of discipline epitomised in the Basel Missionaries and the Bible and noted with regret that it was unfortunate that discipline was being lost.

On the economic front, the President noted that there were about Swiss 50 companies in Ghana and reiterated his call on Switzerland to take advantage of the stable political and economic environment to increase its investment in Ghana.

Mr Semadeni praised the historical ties between Ghana and Switzerland. He noted that Ghana had consistently been among the top five trading partners of Switzerland in recent years and promised to use his duty tour to strengthen the bilateral ties and investment between the two nations.

At the turn of the Senegalese Ambassador, Mr. Diagne, President Mills commended Senegal for preparing to host the Black Festival. He underscored the need for the two nations to continue to work together and to enhance their relations and cooperation. Mr Diagne, who said he opted for Ghana instead of an European nation, noted that the choice presented a personal challenge and enlisted the help of the President and Government for a successful duty tour. "I'm sure there will be no regrets in my choice," Mr Diagne said. When it got to the turn of the Sudanese Ambassador, Mr Dahab, President Mills said Ghana would reciprocate the gesture of the Sudanese Government by establishing an Embassy in Sudan.

President Mills said Ghana was ready to cooperate with Sudan in youth and sports, and the oil sector.

When it got to the turn of Mr Miller, the Ambassador of Jamaica, President Mills praised the Caribbean nation for holding on to democracy and the rule of law.

He assured the Ambassador of Government's co-operation for a successful duty tour.