‘Gambia-Israel relations promising’

Friday, May 31, 2019

The ambassador of Israel to Senegal overseeing The Gambia, Roi Rosenblit, has disclosed that the relationship between The Gambia and Israel has existed since 1966, adding that it’s promising.

The ambassador was speaking on Wednesday at Israel’s 71st Independence anniversary and the opening of an Exhibition “First Diplomatic Steps between The Gambia and Israel since 1962-1966. The event was held at The Gambia National Museum in Banjul.

The ambassador explained that “the idea of settling conflicts between peoples by peaceful means applies to all countries, in the Middle East as in Vietnam.” He recalled that the former Prime Minister of The Gambia, Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara  had signed an agreement of friendship between The Gambia and Israel in Jerusalem in October 1966.

He said that was Sir Dawda’s third visit to Jerusalem, while recalling his other visits of 1962 and 1965. “He met our Presidents, our Prime Ministers David Ben Gurion and Levy Eshkol, Golda Meir, Moshe Dayan and others. In his first visit, in 1962, three years before independence, the first agreement on cooperation was signed between the countries. Other agreements signed included cooperation in healthcare, agriculture and scholarships for Gambian students to study in Israel.”

Ambassador Roi made a visit to Sir Dawda and emphasised how much he cherishes the strong friendship between the two peoples.

He reiterated that in 2019, the two governments are revitalising those old agreements and reviving the ongoing friendship. He added that President Barrow told him how much he appreciated his meeting with Prime Minister Netanyahu two years ago.

He pointed that Gambian minister of Education, Claudiana Cole, mayoress of Banjul, Rohey Lowe and other officials visited Israel for high level seminars, adding that others are in Israel as he spoke.

“In Mansakonko, children are getting better education while playing football, thanks to an idea adopted by Gambia’s Omar Keita while training in Israel. Soon, thanks to Professor Baba Tunde and Lamine Jatta of the University of the Gambia, 10 Gambian experts in agriculture will go to Israel for a year for “learning by doing” programme,” he said.

He further explained that when Professor Ceesay reached out to him with rare and unique photographs representing the history of the two nations, he said he was fascinated by the opportunity.

The exhibition is about beginnings and baby steps; saying the two young countries and two peoples were seeking to share knowledge and to make the world better.

Author: Pa Modou Cham