Ghana's High Commissioner to Malta, Barbara Akuokor Benisa, has paid a courtesy call on the President of Malta, Dr George Vella, to hold bilateral discussions to deepen the relations between both countries.
The two also discussed issues of mutual concern particularly, with regard to the ongoing travel ban from Malta into the country due to the spread of the Omicron COVID-19 variant in December last year.
The High Commissioner used the visit last Sunday, which was the occasion of the President’s 80th birthday, to wish Dr Vella long life, good health and inner peace.
She conveyed the well wishes of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo- Addo, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, and the staff of the Ghana High Commission in Malta to President Vella.
Ms Benisa also presented some made-in-Ghana items and a handcrafted stool with a carved 'Gye Nyame' symbol to the President to celebrate him on his birthday.
The two discussed issues concerning both countries, with Ms Benisa referencing the many years of cordial relations that had existed between the two countries.
She recalled how the Ghana High Commission was moved from Libya to Malta during the Libyan crisis in 2014.
The Ghana Mission located in Valletta, Malta, known as “the Valletta Mission”, was relocated to Malta from Libya at the height of the Libyan war, under the leadership of Kenneth Enos Kofi Tachie, who became the founder High Commissioner.
Diplomatic relations between Malta and Ghana dates back to 1974 with the Malta High Commission in Ghana being its first diplomatic mission in sub-Saharan Africa.
In the last couple of years, relations between the two countries have flourished with two consecutive State visits in 2018 and 2019, which were followed by the official opening of the High Commission of Malta in Accra.
The countries last year signed a Permanent Joint Commission for Co-operation (PJCC) agreement and other memoranda of understanding (MoUs) which govern their relationship and pursuits.
The two have also signed a number of agreements in recent years towards promoting cooperation between the two countries and making the fruits of their engagement tangible to the citizens of both states.
Both countries are working to convene the third session of the PJCC.
Ms Benisa told the Daily Graphic that her mission was dedicated to working towards the coming into fruition of the Air Bilateral agreement, which if implemented, would cut travel time between Ghana and Malta, and by extension Europe, to about four and a half hours.
“Plans are also underway to scale up the Maltese High Commission in Ghana to full diplomatic status, to facilitate trade, tourism and other forms of cooperation,” she revealed.