The King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, has donated 50 tons (2,500 cartons) of date palm fruits to Ghana.

The items were received on behalf of Madam Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration (MoFARI), by Madam Martha Ama Akyaa Pobee, Chief Director, MoFARI, from Mr Meshal Hamdan Al-Rogi, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to Ghana.

The dates are to be distributed to Moslems undertaking fasting in the Holy Month of Ramadan.

For the past nine years, King Salman Bin-Abdul-Aziz Al Saud, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, has annually donated 50 tons of dates fruits to the Government of Ghana during the Holy Month of Ramadan.

Madam Ayorkor Botchwey, in a speech read on her behalf, said it was her firm belief that the donation of dates by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and similar gestures would continue to serve as an expression of the bonds of friendship, as the two countries worked towards enhancing their bilateral relations.

She on behalf of the Government and People of Ghana extended gratitude to King Salman

The Minister recalled that the Ghana-Saudi bilateral relations dated back to 1960, when Ghana established a diplomatic presence in the Kingdom with the latter reciprocating later.

She noted that since then they had witnessed fruitful cooperation and strengthened relations.

“The increasing numbers of Ghanaian Muslims embarking on the annual ritual of the Hajj, and unique occasions such as we are witnessing today bear testimony to our excellent relations,” Madam Ayorkor Botchwey stated.

She informed that indeed, Ghana had been a beneficiary of this symbolic gift of date fruits over the years.

Adding that it was also insightful to know that dates were considered among the fruits of heaven in Islam and signify vitality and growth.

The Minister said, rooted in the religious teachings of the Prophet Mohammed, dates were traditionally recognized as a customary food item during Ramadan

She said enriched with many vitamins, dates had been proven to promote heart, brain, respiratory and digestive health; declaring that all these facts indeed, reveal Allah’s infinite knowledge and compassion for human kind.

“Indeed, by this act of benevolence to Ghanaians, especially, the Muslim community, the gesture ties in well with the third pillar of the Islamic faith, which supports the giving of alms, thereby, facilitating the thorough observance of the fourth pillar, that is Ramadan,” the Minister said.

Madam Ayorkor Botchwey expressed the gratitude of the Government of Ghana for the significant contributions made by the Government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to other vital areas of Ghana’s development such as education, health, energy as well as the various donations from individual Saudis towards the building of mosques, schools, orphanages and the provision of safe water in Islamic Communities.

On his part, Mr Al-Rogi, said the presentation marked a special occasion as they celebrate the friendship, which existed between the Government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Government of Ghana.

He said dates were the most important fruit in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia with deep historical and religious significance, saying “it is an important diet to the Moslems Community during Ramadan”.

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