The Speaker of Parliament, Professor Aaron Michael Oquaye, has debunked reports that he has expressed support for the declaration of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
Prof. Oquaye explained that what he had always stated was that “the Israeli and Palestinian issue is purely a case between two brothers and, therefore, an internal issue and their own mutual decision will be accepted by all.”
According to a statement signed by the Head of Parliamentary Relations & Protocol, Mr Richard Kwame Acheampong, the reference to the internal issue is not in relation to Israel but the two main parties – Israel and Palestine – in the dispute.
5 Speakers of Parliament
The Speaker, the statement said, therefore wished to put on record that the seminar at which he granted the interview was attended by five African Speakers of Parliament and their delegations and the aim was to boost relations between the Knesset and African Parliaments with the objective of sharing best practices.
The statement said the seminar never had anything to do with Arab-Israel relations and ’’as a man of God, the Speaker will not under any circumstance foment trouble or support one party’s declaration that will destabilise the region.’’
According to the statement, the Speaker would have wished that the Member of Parliament for the Kumbungu Constituency, Mr Ras Mubarak, had done due diligence by calling him to ascertain the facts of the matter before posting it on his Facebook wall.
The statement said the Speaker’s preoccupation, as exemplified in the many presentations he had made at the various International fora that he had attended since his inauguration as Speaker of Parliament, was to call on the international community to right the wrongs that had been orchestrated by the present world economic order.
The situation, according to the statement, had been aggravated by the World Trade Organisation (WTO) which had been working against attempts by African countries to industrialise.
“Mr Speaker noted that African economies had been modelled to supply raw materials to the industrial concerns of the rich Western countries, thanks to colonisation, and recommended that the international community worked to promote the industrialisation of the developing countries in Africa to enable those countries to put their economies in shape to be able to deal with problems associated with unemployment, poverty, terrorism and all the spiralling effects of poverty and social exclusion,’’ the statement further explained.
The Speaker, the statement added, intimated that putting the economies of the African countries in shape could enable those countries to partner the rest of the world in global trade for the mutual benefit of all.
“Economic development would also enhance inclusion within these countries, which will go a long way to reduce the tension that often greets various election processes on the continent for the reason that the state controls the economies.’’
State control of economies motivates many African leaders to cling to power even after their mandatory terms while other unpopular leaders try to steal the mandate of the public during elections,’’ the Speaker observed.