Ghana has no interest in UK Third Country Asylum - Ministry

BY: Kweku Zurek
Ghana has no interest in UK Third Country Asylum - Ministry
Ghana has no interest in UK Third Country Asylum - Ministry

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration says the country has no interest or intention to consider any proposal partnership on Third Country Asylum with the United Kingdom (UK).

A statement issued by the Ministry said Sky News UK put out a news item on the content of a virtual meeting with Madam Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, held with Mr James Duddridge, the UK Minister for Africa, at the request of the British.

However, the Foreign Ministry's statement said the said story was based on a “vaguely worded” tweet on the meeting on the Foreign Minister’s Twitter Handle, which mentioned a supposed partnership between the UK and Ghana on a Third Country Asylum as part of cooperation between the two countries on security and migration.

It said though the Ghana High Commission in London explained to the journalist that their insistence on proceeding on the basis of a tweet, which did not capture the essence of the discussion, would amount to misinterpretation, the media outlet proceeded with the story.

The statement said at no point in the discussion was a partnership on Third Country Asylum addressed.

“As part of the discussion between the UK Minister and Ghana’s Foreign Minister, the UK Minister informed Ghana’s Foreign Minister that the UK would be submitting a draft proposal for a partnership in areas of security and migration,” it stated.

“So far, no such proposal has been shared with the Ghana side. The Ministry wishes to categorically state that Ghana has no interest or intention to consider any proposed partnership on Third Country Asylum,” it stressed.

Sky News report

The report said the "UK is talking to the government in Ghana about ways it can help alleviate the UK's immigration problems, according to a tweet issued by the Ghanaian Foreign Ministry".

The report added that: "Human rights campaigners have raised concern the now-deleted tweet could mean there are discussions for some asylum seekers to be housed and processed in Ghana".

The tweet was posted on 30 August and shows a picture of a virtual meeting between the UK's Africa Minister, James Duddridge, and Ghanian Foreign Minister Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey.

It said: "During the meeting, the Hon. Minister and the RT. Hon. discussed issues of mutual interest between Ghana and the UK, particularly in areas of security and migration, notably in matters relating to third-country asylum partnerships as the UK makes plans to reform its asylum system and tackle illegal migration."

The tweet also thanked the UK government for the donation of 249,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine.

The Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office refused to give any details about the tweet but said: "On Wednesday 18 August, Minister Duddridge held a virtual meeting with Ghanaian Foreign Minister Botchwey on a range of policy issues."