In a flurry of engagements yesterday at State House in Banjul, the President, His Excellency Sheikh Professor Alhaji Dr Yahya AJJ Jammeh Babili Mansa received three new ambassadors who are in the country to present their letters of credence.
The new diplomats are the Ambassadors of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, His Excellency Muhamed Seid Yimer; the Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates, His Excellency Mohamed Salem Alrashdi, and the Ambassador of Islamic Republic of Pakistan, His Excellency Muhammed Imran Mirza.
The first to present his credentials was the Ethiopian Ambassador and he later spoke to the waiting press. “First of all I would like to thank you people [the press] for the opportunity. You know the relations between the Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and the Islamic Republic of The Gambia is in a very good condition. We do also have very good political relations,” he said.
According to him, his discussions with the Gambian leader also touched on the area of tourism, trade and agriculture.
“So our relations from now on will be not only political but also economic and social. We discussed multilateral and bilateral issues, so I hope our discussion will be practical. We will have a joint collaboration commission and that commission will be vibrant to make the relations good and better,” the new Ambassador to The Gambia said.
The United Arab Emirates
Also speaking to journalists after presenting his credentials was the United Arab Emirates’ Ambassador to the Islamic Republic of The Gambia, His Excellency Mohamed Salem Alrashdi.
“I have been honoured to meet His Excellency the President of the Islamic Republic of The Gambia. We have discussed various fields and on how we can extend these relations between The Gambia and the United Arab Emirates,” he said.
According to him, the Gambian leader has spoken to him about very good visions and projects, which he said would be put into discussions and studies.
“We have also discussed the coordination between the United Arab Emirates Embassy in Dakar and the Gambian Embassy in Dakar and also Gambian Embassy in Abu Dhabi. These three Embassies will be working on these programmes and we hope that our relations will continue forward,” said the UAE Ambassador.
Ambassador Salem also took the opportunity to extend his thanks and appreciation to His Excellency the President and the people of the Islamic Republic of The Gambia for the warm welcome accorded to him. “Hopefully we will meet again,” he added.
The third and final engagement for the President was the Pakistani Ambassador His Excellency Muhammed Imran Mirza.
Speaking after his audience with the President, he said: “Let me begin by stating that The Gambia and her people are like brothers and sisters to Pakistanis. His Excellency the President has assured me of his full support to whatever projects we have discussed and once they are streamlined we would open it to the press. We already have cooperation in many fields and we would surely work on giving further scholarships and facilitation for higher education in Pakistan.”
According to him, some more work needs to be done in the defense, agriculture and tourism sectors. He said the message that President Jammeh gave him would be taken back home.
“We are very hopeful that our government will reciprocate and we would move forward to improve these. Already there is a very close brotherly relation between our two countries and Inshallah as I promised His Excellency the President, I would not be the Ambassador who would be visiting Gambia twice a year; I intend to visit The Gambia quite often Inshallah. On behalf of the government of Pakistan and the people of Pakistan I assure you that we would make every effort to further strengthen this relationship,” he concluded.
by Musa Ndow