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Foreign Minister urges closer collaboration between Ghana, Turkey

The Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey has advocated more collaboration between Ghanaian and Turkish parliamentarians.

That, she said would help solidify their capacities to deliver optimally on their mandate and  build a stronger institution for the benefit of their citizenry  they represent.

 She said this when she held talks with the Turkish Speaker of Parliament, Mustafa Sentop and some Turkish Members of Parliament (MPs) who are part of the Turkish Parliamentary Friendship Association.

The meeting on Monday, formed part of activities marking  Madam Botchwey, also Member of Parliament for Anyaa Sowutuom’s  official visit to Turkey.

The discussions during the meeting centered on strengthening relations between the Parliaments of Ghana and Turkey.

 Madam Botchwey recounted that the relations between Ghana and Turkey, which dates back to the 1960s, had remained strong and friendly over the decades.

According to her, the two countries shared common values such as the practice of democratic governance with strong and striving institutions including the two Parliaments working to consolidate the gains made over the years since the two adopted multi-party democracy.

She lauded the founders of the Ghana-Turkey Parliamentary Association, which was birthed on March 21, 2011 and underscored its importance as a mechanism to deepen relations between the two legislatures.

She reiterated that since its founding, there had been high-level exchanges between the two Parliaments with the recent visit to Turkey by a two-member Ghana Parliamentary delegation in February 2018 led by Salihu Dandaawa Alhassan.

In Madam Botchwey’s view the exchanges would enable the two institutions to exchange best parliamentary practices and to deepen their collaboration.

She therefore seized the opportunity to call for exchanges between the two speakers of each other’s country to strengthen ties and deepen knowledge sharing.

She indicated that Ghana was going to the polls this year, 2020 to elect a new President and Parliamentarians and assured her host that President Akufo-Addo’s government would ensure that the elections were free, fair, transparent and credible.

Meanwhile, in a separate meeting with the President of the Turkish International Development Agency (TIKA), Serdar Cam, Madam Botchwey on behalf of Ghana thanked the government of Turkey and in particular TIKA for all the development assistance extended to Ghana over the years.

She mentioned specifically, the support of TIKA in training: 10 officials of the Ministry of Water Resources, Works and Housing of Ghana in 2014; sponsorship of 10 midwives and two officials of the Ministry of Health for training in Turkey, in 2014; 10 young diplomats from Ghana at the Diplomatic Training Institute of the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 2014, and in 2018.

She however called for TIKA offices to be set up in Ghana to further strengthen the Ghana-Turkey relations.

BY TIMES REPORTER

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