Ghana and Cote d?Ivoire have affirmed their commitment not to allow their territories to be used as platforms by militants to attack each other.

The two neighbouring countries also pledged to deepen their political, economic and social relations.

The agreements were contained in a communiqu? issued in Abidjan on Wednesday, following a high-powered meeting between a Ghana government delegation led by President John Dramani Mahama and the Ivorian government team headed by President Alassane Ouattara.

President Mahama was in Cote d?Ivoire for a day?s friendly and working visit, first to thank President Ouattara for personally attending the burial of the late President Mills and to hold bilateral discussions with his Ivorian counterpart. It was the first leg of his sub-regional tour to thank the Heads of State for their support during the funeral.

The two leaders held a closed-door meeting at the Presidential Palace in Abidjan before the discussion with the other officials.

President Mahama was met on arrival by President Ouattara at the Felix Houphouet Boigny International Airport. A guard of honour was mounted for him by the Ivorian army.

A large crowd of Ghanaians in Cote d?Ivoire were at the airport to welcome President Mahama and his entourage, which included the Chief of Staff, Mr John Henry Martey Newman; the National Security Advisor, Brigadier General Joseph Nunoo-Mensah; the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Alhaji Muhammed Mumuni; the Minister of the Interior, Mr Kwesi Aboah; the Minister of Tourism, Ms Akua Sena Dansua; an Advisor to the President on Foreign Relations, Mr Victor Gbeho; Ghana?s High Commissioner to Nigeria, Alhaji Baba Kamara, and a brother to the late President Mills, Dr Cadman Mills.

The communiqu? said President Mahama and President Ouattara affirmed their determination to ensure the application of recommendations on justice, defence and security agreed upon between the two countries.

It said the two leaders noted that Ghana and Cote d?Ivoire had trade opportunities, and therefore called for stronger partnership between investors of the two countries.

Addressing the media later, President Mahama said Ghana and Cote d?Ivoire were close neighbours and that the two countries had historical links with commonalities in their culture and language.

Therefore, he said, Ghana would not allow her territory to be used as a platform to launch attacks on Cote d?Ivoire.

He assured President Ouattara of his commitment to support the reconciliation and reconstruction efforts in Cote d?Ivoire.

?We want to see Cote d?Ivoire stable and prosper side by side with Ghana,? he stressed.

President Mahama said the visit gave him the opportunity to hold discussions with President Ouattara on issues of concern to Ghana and Cote d?Ivoire, and gave an assurance that the friendship and agreements between the two countries would continue under his presidency.

He stressed the need for the two countries to maintain close communication in the interest of the two countries.

President Mahama thanked President Ouattara for leading a delegation of government officials and traditional rulers to the funeral service of the late President Mills.

He again lauded President Ouattara for his instrumental role in supporting peace efforts in Mali and Guinea.

President Ouattara reiterated his condolence to President Mahama and Ghanaians generally on the demise of President Mills.

He commended President Mahama for fulfilling his promise to him of coming personally to Cote d?Ivoire to show gratitude to him and the people of Cote d?Ivoire during the funeral of the late President Mills.

President Ouattara expressed the hope that the visit of President Mahama would strengthen the friendship and co-operation between Ghana and Cote d?Ivoire.

In a related development, President Mahama later met with the Ghanaian community at the Abidjan Cultural Centre.

He assured them of his commitment to ensure peace before, during and after this year?s election.

President Mahama asked them to check their names in the ongoing exhibition of the voters register to confirm their status in the register.

Source: Daily Graphic

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