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General News of Wednesday, 20 June 2001

Source: GNA

Saharawi envoy delivers special message to Kufuor

Mr Omar Mansour, a Special Envoy of the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic [SADR] delivered a special message from President Mohammed Abdul Aziz to President Kufuor at the Castle, Osu.

The message received by Mr Jake Obetsebi Lamptey, Minister for Presidential Affairs, on behalf of the President, seeks to solicit for Ghana's support for the implementation of the United Nations (UN) peace plan for the SADR.

The peace plan includes a referendum for self-determination or to be under the rule of Morocco.

Morocco and the SADR have been fighting each other on the issue of sovereignty for almost 20 years.

At the 1994 OAU Summit, some African countries, notably Togo and Benin recognised SADR as a sovereign state. This, however, incurred the displeasure of Morocco, which later withdrew from the Organisation.

At the last summit in Addis Ababa last year, Morocco declared her intention to re-join the organization on condition that OAU de-recognises SADR as a sovereign state.

Mr Mansour, who is also the Health Minister of his country, urged Ghana to insist that OAU followed its laid down procedure for countries to become members without any conditions.

He said currently, SADR has an Ambassador in Abuja, Nigeria and informed the President that very soon, the Ambassador would present his credentials through the Foreign Affairs Ministry.

Mr Obetsebi Lamptey said Ghana would continue to play her role in ensuring that there is peace in the region.

Also at the Castle, was the Cuban Ambassador, Jose Perez Novoa, who said Cuba would continue to support Ghana, especially in the area of supplying medical doctors and said plans were afoot to bring in medical professors to assist at the University of Development Studies in the Northern region.

Mr Novoa said Cuba was prepared to share her experience in the area of agriculture, tourism, education and health for the common good of the two countries.

He appealed to President John Agyekum Kufuor to urgently appoint a chairperson to the Ghana/Cuba Joint Commission.Mr Obetse Lamptey appealed to the Cuban government to send more doctors to serve in the rural areas and said government would ensure their safety and comfort.