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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
June 28, 2001

Joint Statement by Presidents George W Bush, John Agyekum Kufuor, Abdoulaye Wade, and Alpha Oumar Konare

This meeting affirms the high regard in which United States holds these strong African democracies. Our relationship is based on shared democratic values.

President Bush joins Presidents Kufuor of Ghana, Wade of Senegal, and Konare of Mali in affirming our shared opposition to governments that come to power or seek to retain power by unconstitutional means. The United States opposes any action that undermines legitimate, democratic rule, including coups and other direct power grabs, as well as constitutional changes orchestrated solely to promote an incumbent’s hold on power or to impede an opponent.

The leaders agreed to continue our mutual efforts to promote regional peace and prosperity. The United States welcomes and appreciates the participation of Ghana, Senegal, and Mali in initiatives to further regional security, such as the African Crisis Response Initiative and Operation Focus Relief.

Stability and peace are ends in themselves, but they are also essential prerequisites for economic prosperity, development, and poverty alleviation. The United States welcomes the region’s efforts to promote stability, as the precursors to investment and economic growth, but also ongoing efforts to break down barriers to regional trade and investment. President Bush also welcomes African development initiatives, such as the Millennium Africa Recovery and OMEGA plans. An integrated West Africa would be best positioned to take advantage of the African Growth and Opportunity Act.

The leaders expressed a joint commitment to remain engaged in efforts to promote peace, stability, and democracy in West Africa, and President Bush reaffirmed that the United State will work with the region to build mechanisms to prevent and, when necessary, contain and end conflict.

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