NATIONAL: Ghana, Togo begin bilateral talks
|President Mills|| |
The Presidents of Ghana and Togo Tuesday began discussions aimed at strengthening their relations and enhancing bilateral cooperation.
President John Atta Mills and Togolese President Faure Essozimna Gnassingbe, in a prelude to bilateral talks, acknowledged the strong ties that exist between the two countries with emphasis on strengthening their bonds of cooperation.
The bilateral talks, being held behind closed-doors, are expected to centre on political situation in Togo, energy and gas, supply of water, global financial crisis and how to remove bottlenecks that impede free movement of people and goods across the borders.
The Togolese President, who is on a two-day official visit, will also visit the Akosombo Hydroelectric Dam, the Asogli Power Project site at Kpone, near Tema and a tuna processing factory in Tema.
He will also pay courtesy calls on former President Jerry John Rawlings and former President John Agyekum Kufuor.
President Mills told journalists before the talks that Ghana would have no hand in the political situation in Togo before it goes to the polls and that all that Ghana wanted was for her neighbour to have free, fair and open election.
President Mills said it was the determination of the two nations to enhance their cooperation to improve the living standards of their people.
He recalled his visit to Togo last April and said the meeting between the two countries provided an atmosphere for enhanced cooperation between the two nations.
President Gnassingbe said it was with great emotion to be in Ghana and expressed his admiration to the people of Ghana about how they had administered their democracy.
He also recalled President Mills’ visit to Togo last April and said it was necessary to put the past behind them and forge together in the interest of their people.
“We are working through these meetings to concretise our relations for the benefit of our people. We have to forge closer links because of our common heritage, history, interest and challenges of the sub-region,” President Gnassingbe said.
He said it was necessary for the two countries to go beyond the traditional bonds of friendship and work more closely to free the sub-region from conflicts and other bottlenecks that impeded its development.
The two leaders are expected to issue a joint communiqué at the end of the two-day visit on Wednesday.
President Gnassingbe is the third President to visit Ghana since the inauguration of President Mills last January.
The first two presidents were President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf of Liberia and US President Barack Obama.