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US lauds President for peace, security in West Africa

BY: Donald Ato Dapatem
President Akufo-Addo (5th from right) with  Linda Thomas-Greenfield (6th from left), the US Ambassador to the UN; Shirley Ayorkor Botchway (4th from right), the Minister of Foreign Affairs, and some members of the envoy’s entourage and government officials
President Akufo-Addo (5th from right) with Linda Thomas-Greenfield (6th from left), the US Ambassador to the UN; Shirley Ayorkor Botchway (4th from right), the Minister of Foreign Affairs, and some members of the envoy’s entourage and government officials

The US Ambassador to the United Nations, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, has lauded President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo for what she said is his exemplary contribution to peace and security in West Africa, as well as Ghana’s role on the UN Security Council.

“I have come to express our gratitude to Ghana for your leadership here in the region and also for your leadership in the Security Council and the close collaboration that we have been able to forge with your Permanent Representative to find solutions to the peace and security challenges that we face every day in the council,” she said.

Ms Thomas-Greenfield gave the commendation at a meeting with President Akufo-Addo at the Jubilee House in Accra last Saturday.

She was in the country for two days, during which she participated in a forum on US Foreign Policy on Peace and Food Security in Africa in Accra last Friday.

Ms Thomas-Greenfield also travelled to the northern part of the country, where she interacted with farmers and the Northern Regional Minister, Shaani Alhassan Shaibu, in Tamale last Saturday.

Collaboration

The ambassador also praised the country’s solid relationship with the US over the years, saying: “Ghana has been a stalwart and steadfast partner to the US and we have very much appreciated the opportunity to work with you.”

She expressed the support of the US to the government in tackling security-related issues in West Africa through ECOWAS.

“We also want to express to you our strong support for your effort in dealing with the situation here in the region when you were the President of ECOWAS, the very tough decisions you sometimes had to take to deal with situations in the region, particularly as they related to Mali,” Ms Thomas-Greenfield added.

Food crisis

She further said the US was deeply concerned about the growing food crisis caused by the war in Ukraine and said “it is a war of choice” that was made by President Putin, and that his disproportionate actions in terms of attacks on civilian infrastructure had impacted significantly on Africa, including Ghana.

Ms Thomas-Greenfield said she had an opportunity to talk with farmers in Tamale and heard from them some of the challenges they faced in the agricultural sector.

“They are not able to access fertiliser, and the high price of petrol has had a huge impact on them. As a result, they said they were planting about 40 per cent of what they planted in the past.

“We have responded to this crisis throughout the continent of Africa. We have had to continue to work with you to address the rising food insecurity challenge,” she said.

The ambassador dismissed the narrative by Russia that the food crisis across the world was the result of sanctions the US had imposed on Russia.

She said the claim was untrue because there were no sanctions on Russian agricultural produce such as fertiliser and wheat.

“We have indicated that we are prepared to work with Russia and we support the UN Secretary-General’s effort to find a way to get wheat and fertiliser from both Ukraine and Russia to the market,” Ms Thomas-Greenfield added.

On Mali, she expressed concerns about the security situation in that country and the military leaders’ refusal to adhere to initiatives aimed at bringing about lasting peace.

She said the US would welcome any advice President Akufo-Addo might offer to help deal decisively with the crisis.