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We will ensure US visa sanctions are lifted – Ayorkor Botchwey

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Madam Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, Foreign Affairs Minister has downplayed suggestions that Ghana should retaliate the visa sanctions imposed on the country by the U.S.

“Are you dealing at arm’s length [with the U.S.], there are more Ghanaians [seeking to travel] than Americans wanting to come here…In diplomacy there is reciprocity but it is always guarded. You have to look at the circumstances before you take certain actions,” She said during an interview on Accra based Class FM on 13 February 2019.

Ms Botchwey was responding to comments by Member of Parliament (MP) for Kumbungu, Ras Mubarak, who called on the government of Ghana to react to the visa ban imposed by the United States government, which he describes as bullying.

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However, the Foreign Affairs Minister explained that they would rather work together with the U.S. government to ensure that the sanctions are lifted.

She added that Ghana and U.S. are key allies and do not need any actions that will strain the relationship of the two countries.

“Ghana has failed to live up to its obligations under international law to accept the return of its nationals removed from the United States,” Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen said in a press statement announcing the visa sanctions.

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“Without an appropriate response from Ghana, the scope of these sanctions may be expanded to a wider population. The sanctions will remain in place until the Secretary of Homeland Security notifies Secretary Pompeo that cooperation on removals has improved to an acceptable level,” the American statement added.

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