I wish to express to the Dean and to the Members of the Diplomatic Corps, my l deep appreciation for arranging this pleasant dinner party in my honour. I would like to thank you in particular, Mr. Flake, for the very kind words you have spoken about me, and for your expressions of support and affection for the people of Ghana and for the policies which have been pursued by the Government for the development of Ghana.
We in Ghana are proud of the fact that in spite of the history of colonial rule and the effects that this should have had on our people, it is agreed by all who to visit us that for tolerance, good neighbourliness and in matters of race relations, this country perhaps has no equal in the whole world. We are happy indeed, that all our visitors so clearly enjoy our hospitality. This characteristic of the Ghanaian people is enshrined in our foreign policy, which, as I have stated on many occasions before, is one of positive neutrality and non-alignment. Our aim is to be friends with all and, as far as possible, to be enemies t0 none. This is the policy which my Government will continue to pursue, and it is the policy which our own Ambassadors and High Commissioners abroad have been charged to establish.
In that spirit, I would like to assure all Members of the Diplomatic Corps in Ghana of the closest co-operation of myself and my Government at all times, so that we may together forge and maintain the strongest possible links of friendship. For we in Ghana desire nothing so much as peace and friendship between nations. We are dedicated to pursue a policy for the rapid social and economic reconstruction of our country. We know that we can only succeed in this venture in an atmosphere devoid of conflict and war. Ghana must therefore adopt such policies as will further in the most positive way the cause of world peace.
We have been fortunate in recent years to receive generous assistance through the technical assistance scheme from many of the countries which are represented here tonight. Also would like to take this opportunity to express the gratitude of the Government and people of Ghana for the valuable work which is being carried out by Technical Assistance Personnel in various fields of activity in Ghana today. We thank the Governments which have provided us with this assistance.
Your Excellencies, the unfortunate events in the Congo at the present time calls for great vigilance. Those nations among us who stand for world peace must do everything in our power to forestall any attempt from any quarter to encourage the succession of Katanga from the Republic of Congo. Katanga is an integral part of Congo and a nation which is striving for peace can accord it recognition as an independent state because it is not. All of us, with one voice, must request the United Nations to ignore my application for recognition of Katanga as an independent state. Poor Tshombe is merely being used by those who have selfish interests in Katanga.
What will they care about poor Tshombe, when they are forced to admit the fact (which they inevitably must) that they have been backing the wrong horse? Your Excellencies, on no account should we minimise the dangers involved in what is at present going on in Congo, particularly in Katanga. We in Africa want neither a cold war nor a hot war waged on our continent. Nor do we want civil war between Katanga and the central government of Congo.
Your Excellencies, recognition of Katanga by Belgium or by any other nation or assistance to Katanga by the Federation of Rhodesia or by any other territory, will be a tragedy and a severe threat to world peace, for l can see that unless great care and wisdom are employed in handling this matter, it can trigger off a world war.
The entire and complete withdrawal of all Belgian troops from every part of the Congo Republic, including Katanga, is essential for the peace and security of the world. For the sake of Africa, for the sake of humanity, we pray that common sense may prevail, and that all those who have so readily offered assistance to this new African republic will give that help unconditional and with no other motive than that of establishing peace, security and stability in the Congo.
Your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, on behalf of myself and of the Government and people of Ghana, I thank you again for your kind gesture in entertaining me here tonight.