Accra, March 05, GNA - Madam Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, Minister of Foreign Affairs Regional Integration-designate, who is on a four-day official visit to Qatar, has held discussions with Mr Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al Thani, Foreign Minister of the State of Qatar.
Madam Ayorkor Botchwey's visit to Qatar is to deliver a Special Message from President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to the Emir of Qatar; a message which is geared towards consolidating the existing friendly ties between the two countries.
During the meeting, the Foreign Minister-designate congratulated her counterpart for the hard work and dedication he had invested towards improving the bilateral and multilateral relations between the State of Qatar and other countries.
She said the Government of Ghana appreciated the concrete steps taken by the two countries to strengthen diplomatic ties following the reciprocal visit of their two heads of state, particularly the inauguration of a weekly Qatar Airways flight to Accra, despite the constraints posed by the raging COVID-19 pandemic.
She acknowledged the importance of the various memoranda of understanding (MoUs) signed between the two countries and noted that the agreements would foster stronger ties between Ghana and Qatar.
The Foreign Minister-designate said the MoU relating to the framework for close partnership between the two Ministries of Foreign Affairs would allow both countries to hold regular consultations at least once every two years on bilateral relations and international issues of mutual interest.
Madam Ayorkor Botchwey said the Parliament of Ghana had duly ratified the Agreement on Mutual Visa Exemption for the Holders of Diplomatic and Special Passports between the two countries.
"Consequently, Ghana looks forward to receiving notice of ratification from the Government of Qatar to pave way for its operationalization."
She expressed gratitude to the Government of the State of Qatar for “being a trusted and true friend of the Government and People of Ghana” and affirmed the commitment of Ghana to continue to work towards forging closer ties of friendship and cooperation with the State of Qatar.
The Foreign Minister-designate thanked her counterpart for the contributions made by Qatar to Ghana’s national development including education, health care, energy, and donations towards the construction of mosques in the country as well as the extension of food supplies to the Ghanaian community during the height of the pandemic.
She also mentioned the assistance given to Ghana’s oil experts on their visit to Doha to understudy Qatar’s oil and gas revenue-monitoring architecture.
Madam Ayorkor Botchwey said Ghana had been keenly following the implementation of Qatar’s five-year Food Security Programme from 2018-2023, which had led to Qatar being ranked as the number one food security country in the Middle East.
She said Ghana had embarked on an industrialization programme to improve the living standards of its citizens through flagship programmes like Planting for Food and Jobs, Free Senior High School, One District One Factory, One Village One Dam and infrastructural development.
Madam Ayorkor Botchwey said the Government of Ghana was keen on tapping the skills and the expertise of the private sector of Qatar, especially in the area of Oil and Gas for mutual benefit.
In that regard, she urged Qatari businessmen and investors to take advantage of the good investment climate in Ghana to invest in the country.
Madam Ayorkor Botchwey said the Government of Ghana was determined to support the establishment of the Ghana-Qatar Business Council to enhance cooperation in areas such as infrastructure development, agro-processing and tourism for the benefit of the two countries.
She lauded the Government of Qatar for the peace-building role it had been playing in the Middle East and expressed optimism that there would be a lasting resolution of conflicts in the region.
The Foreign Minister-designate was optimistic that the signed Agreements between the two countries would serve as a sustainable framework for forging stronger bonds of cooperation between them.