Ghana’s President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and Ivorian President, Alassane Quattara on Tuesday signed a new strategic cooperation framework, referred to as the Strategic Partnership Agreement which seek to deepen the already strong relations between the two countries.
Subsequently, the two Presidents, acknowledging the spirit of brotherliness with which the maritime dispute between Ghana and La Cote d’Ivoire was handled, expressed their commitment to ensure the smooth implementation of the ruling by the Special Chamber of the International Tribunal of the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) on the delimitation of the maritime boundaries between the two countries.
In a Joint Communique issued by the Foreign Ministers of both countries after the completion of the two-day bilateral talks, on the sidelines of the state visit of the Ivorian President to Ghana, the two leaders announced the establishment of a Joint Committee for the Implementation of the ITLOS judgement and indicated that the composition of the Committee would be decided later.
The new Strategic Partnership Agreement of Cooperation , which is an extension of the existing bilateral Cooperation—Permanent Joint Commission of Cooperation— covers areas of Defense and Security; Cocoa and Cashew and other strategic crops; Maritime and Cooperation.
Others areas include Mining, Energy and Environment; Transportation and Economic Policy.
Addressing a press conference at the Flagstaff House, President Akufo-Addo asserted that the commitment of both Ghanaian and the Ivorian delegation “is the measure of importance that we attach to the relationship.”
President Akufo-Addo said, “beyond the agreement on paper, whatever technical understanding it may be” if there is no political will to “make the words on paper leave in the lives of the people, they remain exactly that, words on paper”.
The tenacity, respect and show of brotherliness exhibited during the discussions, the President averred, was obviously the reason why “Ivorian-Ghanaian leadership should always be in harmony and work together for the mutual benefit for both countries.
“I am confident that if President Quattara have a partner who is determined to translate the words found on paper into concrete actions, to the benefit of the two people, that political will and determination that we move to an era of greater intimacy, is what will give meaning to the work we have done this two says”, he stated.
President Akufo-Addo said he was particularly lucky as President of Ghana to have on the Ivorian side “a man of such a great stature, experienced and quality, as Alassane Quattara”.
He said it was obvious that Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire remained on harmony and determined to work together, “the benefits will inure not just to our people, our also to other people on the West Africa region.
The President Quattara commended President Akufo-Addo for the Exemplary and crucial role he played in the Ivorian crisis.
Then as a Foreign Minister, President Quattara asserted “you took a principled and peaceful stands in the crisis that ensured the peaceful resolution of the crisis in Cote d’Ivoire”.
President Quattara and his team have since left for their country, Cote d’Ivoire.
Source: ISD (Rex Mainoo Yeboah)
Photo: ISD (Patience Lartey)