Bush Vows To Help War-Crippled Liberia Rebound
Bush Vows To Help War-Crippled Liberia Rebound Website
The President of the United States of America, Mr George Walker just left Accra yesterday morning for Liberia at the end of his three-day visit to Ghana. President Bush and his wife, Laura, as well as the US Secretary of State, Dr Con¬doleezza Rice, were seen off at the Kotoka International Airport by President J.A. Kufuor. Also at the airport to bid the American leader goodbye were a number of senior gov¬ernment officials, including Mr Kwadwo Mpiani, the Minister of Presidential Affairs and Chief of Staff; Mr Kwadwo Baah-Wire¬du, the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning; Mr Stephen Asamoah-Boateng, the Minister of Tourism and Diasporan Rela¬tions, and Professor Dominic Fobih, the Min¬ister of Education, Science and Sports. While in the country, President Bush held bilateral talks with President Kufuor, addressed a press conference and attended a state dinner. At the press conference, President Bush dismissed speculations over the intention of the US to secure a military base in Ghana and other African states. The visiting US President said at the Castle, Osu, on Wednesday that there were a lot of rumours in Ghana that the US intended to establish a military base in the country and declared, "We do not contemplate putting up military bases. It is not true." Dispelling the rumours at a joint press conference at the Castle, Presi¬dent Bush explained that the US Africa Command (AFRICOM) was a unique command structure intended to help Africa to build its capacity to deal with its internal conflicts. AFRICOM is one of six of the US Defense Department's regional mili¬tary headquarters. When it becomes fully operational from the beginning of October 2008, the command will have administrative responsibility for US military support for US gov¬ernment policy in Africa to include military-to-military relationships with 53 African nations. President Bush mentioned the Darfur crisis and said he was pleased that the African Union/United Nations joint force was being put in place to deal with the problem in Darfur, expressing the hope that the process would be hastened. On the elections in Pakistan in which the opposition won more seats than the ruling government, President Bush said their outcome was the voice of the people. He said President Pervez Mush¬harraf of Pakistan was an ally in the fight against terrorism, adding that he was hopeful that whoever emerged as the winner in the elec¬tions would continue to be an ally of the US because Pakistan was strategic in the fight against terrorism. President Kufuor said he was happy that President Bush had dis¬pelled the rumours that the US intended to build a military base in Ghana and expressed the hope that the explanation would put to rest any speculations on the matter. Responding to a question on China and Africa, President Kufuor said the engagements of the two entities were pursued based on mutual interest and on common val¬ues. "Our nations are not giving in to any dictates and impositions from China. China is proving to be competitive and we are relating with it on common values. So far, so good," he stated.