President Akufo-Addo excited at ITLOS ruling

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has expressed delight at the ruling of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) in Germany on the maritime border dispute between Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire.

The ruling, which was given last Saturday, went in favour of Ghana.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Ms Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, told newsmen in New York on Sunday that the President, who was also in New York when the ruling was given, was delighted when he received the information last Saturday morning.

The President is yet to make an official public statement on the ruling and the way forward for Ghana.

In 2014, Ghana instituted arbitration proceedings at the ITLOS to ensure the resolution of its maritime boundary dispute with Cote d’Ivoire.

On Saturday, the Special Chamber of the ITLOS constituted to hear the dispute unanimously declared that Ghana had not violated Cote d’Ivoire’s sovereign rights with the former’s oil exploration activities.

Commitment to peace

In separate interviews early this year, President Akufo-Addo had said the ruling had economic consequences for Ghana but indicated that the government was working to mitigate any negative impact should the ruling go against Ghana.

Before the ruling, both President Akufo-Addo and the Ivorian President, Mr Alassane Ouattara, had expressed their commitment to maintaining a cordial relationship, no matter the outcome of the court case.

During a visit to Cote d’Ivoire this year, President Akufo-Addo said: “Whatever the result of that litigation, and, naturally, I hope it goes in favour of Ghana, I want to assure President Ouattara, his government and the Ivorian people of the determination of my government and I to work with you in a healthy manner of co-operation to deal with the consequences of the pending judgement… What is of paramount importance to our two populations is the peaceful exploitation of the maritime resources for their benefit.”

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