The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration has responded to recent comments by Hon. Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, MP for North Tongu and Ranking Member of the Parliamentary Committee on Foreign Affairs on the use of Ghana’s Presidential jet by the President of Liberia, His Excellency George Weah.
The Ministry in a press statement dated 30th September reiterated that it is common knowledge that as part of bilateral and multilateral diplomatic relations, various friendly States provide assistance of different forms to each other. Thus Ghanaian leaders in the past have been transported to different parts of the world on the Presidential aircraft of other States.
“ It must be emphasized that the practice of sharing travel resources is among West African Heads of State and high-ranking officials is not a recent phenomenon. Indeed, in the past, some Heads of State have, in their capacity as Chair of ECOWAS, extended this courtesy.”
In the statement, the Ministry recounted that former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo used to offer President Kuffour a ride aboard the Nigerian Presidential jet to regional summits.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration added that, given the many threats to peace and stability in the region, Ghana has found it beneficial to our national interests to lend state equipment for the promotion of peace and security in neighbouring countries.
The Ministry also added that proactive strategy is in line with Ghana’s foreign policy, which includes good neighbourliness, commitment to regional integration, mutual assistance and the practical facilitation of African Unity.
The Ministry’s statement further explained that in the wake of the recent political crisis In Guinea, President Akufo-Addo in his capacity as Chair of ECOWAS, did not only convened an emergency Summit of ECOWAS Heads of State but also facilitated the travel of some of his colleague Heads of State; President George Weah from Liberia, Julius Maada Bio of Sierra Leone, President Umaru Siccocco Embola of Guinea Bissau and important stakeholders in the Guinea geopolitical situation to and from Accra.
The Ministry noted that it does not share the opinion of Hon. Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa and added that Ghana has since independence hosted and displayed very warm hospitality and provided support for our brother’s and sisters on the continent, and continues to host migrants from all over the sub-region.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration has therefore assured that the government of Ghana is not on a quest to flirt State resources wantonly, but it is focused on pursuing a pragmatic foreign policy that fosters regional integration and good neighbourliness in a climate of peace and stability.