Foreign Affairs Minister speaks on Mills-Obama meeting

Alhaji Muhammad Mumuni, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, has described President John Evans Atta Mills’ upcoming State Visit to the United States of America (US) as a giant step in relations between Ghana and the US.

He said the US remained a strong ally and strategic partner to Ghana, and both nations recognised a mutual co-operation in advancing the interests of their peoples.

Speaking to the Ghana News Agency (GNA) on President Mills’ trip to the US, the Minister said the invitation extended by the President and the government of the United States was a strong indication of the recognition by Washington of Ghana’s march for democracy.

The two nations share a long history of promoting democracy, human rights and the rule of law.

President Mills, who led Ghanaians to mark the nations 55th Independence Day and reviewed a colourful parade at the Independence Square and delivered an  anniversary address, would leave in the evening for the US.

Alhaji Mumuni said Ghana had achieved a lot in terms of its relations with the US.

He said the President’s visit affirms Ghana’s commitment to an open door foreign policy, explaining that Ghana was in no way pandering to the East with its procurement of the Chinese Development Assistance.

Ghana, he said, would continue to welcome nations with common interests to bring accelerated development and improve in the lives of the people.

The Foreign Affairs Minister recalled the visits of former President Bill Clinton, former President George W. Bush and President Barack Obama and said the reciprocal visit of President Mills was a feather in the cap of Accra and Washington.

He said it would also consolidate their relations at the economic, political and economic levels.

A statement from the Office of the President, signed by Mr Koku Anyidoho, the Director of Communications, said the President would be accompanied by First Lady Naadu Mills.

Other members of the entourage are some Ministers of State and a high-powered business delegation.

President Obama, who met President Mills in Accra in July 2009, would host President Mills to a meeting in the Oval Office on Thursday, March 8.

“The President met President Mills in July 2009 and welcomes the opportunity to reciprocate the warm hospitality that both he and the First Lady received during their visit to Ghana,” a statement from the US Embassy in Accra said.

“The two Leaders will have the opportunity to discuss our shared objectives in advancing development as well as the commercial and economic ties between our two countries.

“President Obama looks forward to discussing cooperation on a host of other bilateral, regional, and multilateral issues, and deepening our bilateral partnership,” the statement added.

President Mills would also meet interact with Senators, Congress members, captains of industry and interact with members of the Ghanaian community in the Washington catchments area.

President Mills is expected back home on March 13.

Source: GNA

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