Fajara, 24 October 2017 – President Adama Barrow received three new diplomatic envoys today, as his government continues to strengthen its bilateral ties with other nations. Ambassadors from Kuwait, Mauritania and Nigeria presented their credentials to the President at his Fajara office, this morning.
President Barrow called on each of the diplomats to build on the progress that their predecessors had made in constructive bilateral cooperation toward the mutual benefit of their citizens and the Gambian people. He said an ambassadorial presence was evidence of the strong ties that The Gambia enjoyed with the three countries. President Barrow assured the envoys of his support to ensure that they have successful terms in office.
The new Kuwaiti Ambassador to The Gambia, His Excellency Mr. Saleh Ali Al Saqabi, said Kuwait will strengthen its relationship with The Gambia in various areas to help it consolidate democracy. He also assured President Barrow of his country’s willingness to support The Gambia in its hosting of the Summit of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference in 2019.
Receiving Ambassador Al Saqabi, President Barrow described the mediation role played by the Emir of Kuwait between Saudi Arabia and Qatar as honourable. He thanked Kuwait for the support it had provided in the past, and said he looked forward to a continued successful partnership.
Ambassador Al Saqabi is a career diplomat of 25 years, having served in Asia, Europe, the Middle East and Senegal. He also served as Adviser to the Emir of Kuwait, Jaber Al- Ahmad Al-Sabah.
The new Mauritanian Ambassador, His Excellency, El Hacen Mohamed Awan, conveyed President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz’s eagerness to strengthen the relationship between the two countries. He thanked the Gambian government for providing a hospitable environment for the Mauritanian community in The Gambia.
President Barrow noted the long history between The Gambia and Mauritania, and applauded Mauritanians for being peaceful and law abiding. He commended the efforts and commitment of President Abdel Aziz to help resolve the political impasse in The Gambia earlier in the year. President Barrow pledged to continue the spirit of unity between the two countries. He stressed that without peace there could not be development, and he conveyed a personal message of goodwill to the Mauritanian leader through Ambassador Awan.
Ambassador Awan is an educationist. He served as Mauritania’s Minister of Education, and was a diplomat in Yemen and Sudan.
Presenting his credentials, Nigeria’s new Ambassador to The Gambia, His Excellency, Mr. Oluwasegun Ibidapo-Obe, said the strong historic ties between Nigeria and The Gambia would make his work easy. He congratulated President Barrow for the security sector reform being undertaken, and assured him that the Nigerian government would continue to support The Gambia in various areas. He underscored the importance of supporting the country as it continued to build a stable democracy. He pledged Nigeria’s support to the Assets Recovery Commission. Ambassador Ibidapo-Obe said that despite being a bigger country, Nigeria was interested in learning from The Gambia, in the area of tourism.
President Barrow commended Nigeria’s stand during and after The Gambia’s political impasse in early 2017. He conveyed his personal best wishes to President Muhammadu Buhari through Ambassador Ibidapo-Obe, and said he looked forward to continued strong cooperation.
Ambassador Ibidapo-Obe is a career diplomat. In 2016, he served as Nigeria’s Chargé d’ Affaires at the country’s embassy in Lomé, Togo.
These bilateral ties are expected to lead to a strengthening of support in various areas. They include having a joint commission between The Gambia and Kuwait, which will help develop trade, tourism and sports as priority areas. Relations with Mauritania are expected to see a strengthening in security cooperation and livestock, while bilateral ties with Nigeria will result in consolidated support in the fields of education, health and the legal sector. Nigeria is already providing support in peace and security through the ECOWAS Military Intervention in The Gambia (ECOMIG) force currently stationed in The Gambia.
The Gambian Foreign Minister, Honourable Ousianou Darbo, Higher Education Minister, Honourbale Badara Joof, Secretary General Dawda Fadera, and other senior officials were present at the presentation ceremonies.
The State Guard battalion led by Colonel Turo Jawneh mounted a Quarter Guard in a colourful ceremony for the diplomats.
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