State House, Banjul, 30th January, 2019 – His Excellency, President Adama Barrow told the visiting Interior Minister of Spain that any progressive discussion on migration between the Kingdom of Spain, and the European Union in general, must take into account domestic socio-economic challenges facing The Gambia and other African countries as a whole.
President Barrow made the remarks during a courtesy call with the Minister of Interior of the Kingdom of Spain at the State House in Banjul. The high ranking Spanish official is in the country to discuss and strengthen bilateral relations with his Gambian counterpart – the Minister of Interior, Hon. Ebrima Mballow, who accompanied them to the State House.
The President said cooperation with European partners must include development strategies focused on building capacities to empower youths as well as strengthen the national economy for jobs creation in order to reduce exodus of youths and the risks cross-border criminal activities.
While stating that The Gambia has a long standing relations with the people and government of the Kingdom of Spain, the president said his government is committed to advancing the ties from strength to strength.
Following the closed-door discussion with the president, His Excellency, Mr. Fernando Grandea Marlaska Gomez spoke to the State House media corps reaffirming the position of the president on the migration debate: “We agreed that security should not be our only area of consideration… other social and economic areas are equally important to security. If we want to get a peaceful relations between Europe and Africa, we have to get into development”.
He added that Spain and The Gambia are going to work to improve the human resource base of Gambians, particularly security outfits in the areas civil protection, among others. He argued that fighting irregular migration networks is a common concern for both countries. And so are transnational criminal organizations such as narcotic networks.
The Minister maintained that everyone has the right to live anywhere they want. People should also be given the opportunity to live where they want, according to the diplomat. Therefore, Spain and The Gambia have to work together to be in equal partnership, he added.
Amie Bojang-Sissoho, Director of Press & Public Relations, Office of the President, State House, Banjul, Tel: +220 9957592, Twitter: @BarrowPresident, Facebook: Barrow PORG, Website: statehouse.gov.gm