the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration has said that the use of the Ghanaian presidential plane by other heads of state is a “proactive” gesture that indicates the principles of Ghana’s foreign policy.
He said the gesture promotes bilateral and multilateral diplomatic relations and subregional unity and harmony.
This is in a statement issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration in Accra, in response to the member of the parliamentary committee on foreign affairs, Mr. Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, regarding the use of the Ghanaian presidential plane. by the President of Liberia, Mr. George Weah.
Mr. Ablakwa had raised questions about President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s abandonment of the Falcon 900-EXE for more “expensive” and “luxurious” Airbus ACJ320neo for its overseas trips.
He said that following the recent political crisis in Guinea, President Akufo-Addo, in his capacity as President of ECOWAS, not only convened an emergency ECOWAS summit, but also facilitated travel. some of his fellow heads of state, in particular; President Julius Maada Bio of Sierra Leone and President Umaro Sissoco Embalo of Guinea Bissau.
The statement said: âIt is common knowledge that within the framework of bilateral and multilateral diplomatic relations, various friendly states help each other in different ways.
âIt should be noted that the practice of sharing travel resources between West African heads of state and senior officials is not a recent phenomenon.
âFor example, Ghanaian leaders have in the past been flown to different parts of the world on presidential jets from other states.
He cited how former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo offered former President John Agyekum Kufuor to board the Nigerian presidential jet.
He said the gesture went a long way in securing the participation of almost all heads of state in the sub-region due to the short notice given for the emergency meeting.
The ministry noted that âat a time when Ghanaian leaders and citizens are championing a renewal of Pan-Africanism across the continent and the Diaspora (with the take-off of free trade under the AfCFTA), Mr. Ablakwa surprises the ministry.
âIndeed, our regional integration mission remains an essential element in Africa’s urgent quest for unity.
“Thus, we find any suggestion by Mr. Ablakwa that the foreign policy initiatives of the government of Ghana, which promote African unity, are irrelevant, rather strange.”
He stressed that Ghana was not going to charge any of the heads of state to which the Falcon had been made available.
The ministry therefore assured Ghanaians that the government would not dissipate state resources, but would focus on pursuing a pragmatic foreign policy favoring regional integration and good neighborliness in a climate of peace and stability.