Sunday, July 5, 2009

President Mills returns from Libya

President John Evans Atta Mills returned home late Saturday night from Libya where he attended the 13th Ordinary Summit of the African Union which took place from July 1 to 3, 2009. The summit was held on the theme: "Investing in Agriculture for economic growth and food security".Briefing journalists on arrival at the Kotoka International airport, Mr Mahama Ayariga, Presidential Spokesperson and Press Secretary said, during the summit, President Mills reiterated Ghana's commitment to the African Union.President Mills, he said, therefore emphasized Ghana's resolve to contribute its quota towards the strengthening of the AU as well continue to maintain good relations with her neighbours. Mr Ayariga said President Mills during an African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) session, which was held before the Summit, reaffirmed Ghana's commitment to the APRM and re-counted steps that his government had taken to achieve its objectives.He said the President also announced his government preparedness to have Ghana peer reviewed for the second time. Mr Ayariga said President Mills at another meeting underscored importance of agriculture in fostering stability and food security in Africa.He also held bilateral talks with President Muammar Gaddafi of Libya.Mr Ayariga said Ghana signed an agreement with the European Union for a 175m Euro support for Ghana government towards the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).He said Ghana and Gambia also signed a memorandum of understanding concerning the killing of Ghanaians in Gambia where the Gambian government agreed to exhume and return the six bodies found to their families in Ghana.In addition, Mr Ayariga said, the two countries agreed to further investigate and come out with the truthfulness of the matter so as to bring the perpetrators to book.He said it was concluded that those who were killed were victims of human trafficking adding that the AU summit thus resolved to deal extensively with human trafficking on the continent. Mr Ayariga said the summit decided to transform the AU from a Commission into an Authority.He said the African heads of state agreed to establish a common defense policy and incorporate the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) into the structure of the African Union. He said they again decided not to accept the decision of the International Criminal Court to indict the Sudanese President, President Al Bashir.He said on the issue of Eritrea involving itself in the internal affairs of her neighbouring countries, it was agreed that sanctions should be imposed on the country.Mr Ayariga said the African leaders discussed a strategic plan to promote agriculture on the continent and approved the introduction of an AU flag.He said a resolution was also reached to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the first President of Ghana, Dr Kwame Nkrumah. He said a number of heads of state including President Gaddafi of Libya, the current chair of the AU, addressed the Summit.President Mills was met at the Kotoka International Airport by Vice President John Dramani Mahama, the Chief of Defence Staff, Major General Peter Blay, the Inspector General of Police, Mr Paul Quaye and some ministers of state.

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