Tunisia visit yielding good results — Foreign Minister

BY: Kate Baaba Hudson
Ms Ayorkor Botchwey with Mr Khamaies Jhinaouifro
Ms Ayorkor Botchwey with Mr Khamaies Jhinaouifro

The Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Ms Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, has expressed satisfaction with the outcomes of her recent visit to Tunisia, including a consensus to establish a direct flight between Accra and Tunis.

She said the two countries also agreed to establish a direct maritime line from Tunis to the Tema Port through Senegal and Cote d’Ivoire.

Ms Botchwey said the decision by Tunisia to establish a Trade Office in Ghana to facilitate business activities was also a welcome one.

The minister was speaking when she received the Ambassador of Tunisia, Mr Jalel Trabelsi, at her office in Accra last Friday.

Ms Botchwey recalled her visit to Tunisia last month which sought to re-invigorate relations between Ghana and Tunisia through the creation of a platform for both sides to explore areas of cooperation for mutual benefit.

She said her visit was historic, as it was the first time in 40 years that a foreign minister from Ghana had visited Tunisia.

Bilateral agreements

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The Foreign Minister said during her visit to Tunisia, she and her Tunisian counterpart, Mr Khamaies Jhinaoui, signed three important bilateral agreements, including one on political consultations between the two foreign ministries.

She said others were the general cooperation agreement between the two governments and an agreement for the establishment of a Permanent Joint Commission for Cooperation (PJCC).

She said six outstanding agreements on industrial development, higher education and scientific research, vocational training and employment, postal services, Information and Communications Technology (ICT) and the promotion of women and the family were receiving the necessary attention.

Tunisian business delegation

Ms Botchwey further recalled the visit to Ghana by a 26-member Tunisian business delegation in January as a positive development and reiterated Ghana’s commitment to further deepen cooperation between the business communities of the two countries.

The Foreign Minister noted that Mr Trabelsi’s visit would help place the relations between the two countries where they should be, saying: “A lot of time has passed, but we will start from somewhere. The future looks bright where our relations are concerned.”

She extended her appreciation, through the Tunisian Ambassador, to the government of Tunisia and the Tunisian Foreign Minister for hosting her.

Mr Trabelsi, in response, said the government of Tunisia was very happy to have received Ghana’s Foreign Minister.

He expressed the hope that the relations between Tunisia and Ghana would deepen further. Kate Baaba Hudson