Ghana willing to help with migrant crisis

Prime Min­is­ter Dr Kei­th Row­ley has ad­mit­ted that Venezuela’s on­go­ing eco­nom­ic and po­lit­i­cal tur­moil has been im­pact­ing T&T and the wider re­gion.

Row­ley made the com­ment at a press con­fer­ence yes­ter­day at the Diplo­mat­ic Cen­tre, St Ann’s, in the pres­ence of Ghana Pres­i­dent Nana Ad­do Dankwa Aku­fo-Ad­do who vis­it­ed our coun­try with a del­e­ga­tion on Wednes­day night and left on Thurs­day night.

Row­ley met with Aku­fo-Ad­do to ad­vance in­ter­est to both coun­tries in the field of en­er­gy, ed­u­ca­tion, cul­ture, agri­cul­ture, diplo­ma­cy and what he de­scribed as “the Venezue­lan sit­u­a­tion.”

Aku­do-Ad­do al­so paid a cour­tesy call to Pres­i­dent Paula-Mae Weekes ear­li­er in the day.

Thank­ing T&T for its hos­pi­tal­i­ty, Aku­fo-Ad­do said he was hap­py to be here again.

He said in the 1980’s he and a group of Ghana­ians had the habit of vis­it­ing our shores for the Car­ni­val cel­e­bra­tions.

“So I am some­thing of a Trinida­di­an with lots of nos­tal­gic mem­o­ries,” Aku­fo-Ad­do said.

He said while T&T has been big in oil and gas sec­tor, the first thing that comes to his mind was ca­lyp­so, as he paid homage to ca­lyp­so­ni­ans Spar­row, Ca­lyp­so Rose and the late Lord Kitch­en­er whom he said kept him en­ter­tained with their fas­ci­nat­ing lyrics.

Touch­ing on Venezuela’s on­go­ing cri­sis, Row­ley said the mat­ter re­quired in­ter­na­tion­al at­ten­tion.

He said the first re­sponse to Venezuela eco­nom­ic down­fall came from Cari­com who went to the Of­fice of the Unit­ed Na­tions Gen­er­al Sec­re­tary “in­form­ing them of our po­si­tion and our con­cern.”

Row­ley said T&T has re­spond­ed diplo­mat­i­cal­ly to Venezuela’s sit­u­a­tion.

The PM said in­ter­na­tion­al ef­forts are be­ing made to bring about di­a­logue with oth­er coun­tries with­in the Venezue­lan con­text.

In his ex­ten­sive talks with Aku­fo-Ad­do, Row­ley said, “We dis­cussed and ac­knowl­edged that there is a prob­lem in our re­gion em­a­nat­ing from con­di­tions in Venezuela which has im­pact­ed T&T, Cari­com and the wider re­gion,” Row­ley said.

He said Ghana would do well to as­sist and en­sure that diplo­mat­ic ini­tia­tives are tak­en to fa­cil­i­tate a peace­ful and speedy so­lu­tion to Venezuela’s cri­sis.

Aku­fo-Ad­do in­ter­ject­ed, stat­ing that Ghana stands ready to as­sist in Venezuela’s tur­moil.

“I think it is our moral du­ty to do so.”

Row­ley said there was al­so move to break up the African Pa­cif­ic Na­tions (APC) as a block so that our ne­go­ti­at­ing pow­er would be di­min­ished.

“It would be ex­treme­ly detri­men­tal to the Caribbean to find it­self in the world en­vi­ron­ment ne­go­ti­at­ing as a small block. We are bet­ter pro­tect­ed and we are stronger as part of the APC.”

He said we have to en­sure that we pre­serve the ACP as a bar­gain­ing block for con­di­tions that will ap­ply for trade with T&T and the rest of the world.

The Caribbean, Row­ley said re­lies on Ghana and “our col­leagues else­where to agree with us on this po­si­tion and let that be our diplo­mat­ic re­sponse.”

Row­ley said at­tempts were be­ing made by in­di­vid­u­als and some quar­ters to break up the APC block “by those who be­lieve that it will serve their pur­pose.”

Reporter: Shaliza Hassanali

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