Feb 5, 2016, 11:25 AM
The European Union and the Government of The Gambia yesterday resumed their stalled political dialogue, at a closed-door meeting held at the Coco Ocean Hotel in Bijilo.
The meeting comes six months after the EU’s 17-point demands under its Article 8 political dialogue with the government were rejected by President Yahya Jammeh.
At the end of the meeting, which was attended by senior officials from the EU and the Gambia Government, the European Union issued a press release welcoming agreement to resume the dialogue.
According to the EU, the two sides were able to discuss a full range of issues of mutual concern, among them the political and economic situation in both the EU and The Gambia, including governance and human rights issues as laid down in the essential elements of the Cotonou Agreement.
Below is the full text of the EU release:
On the 11th of July the EU-Gambia political dialogue took place in Banjul. From the EU side were present: H.E. David Morley - British High Commissioner, local EU Presidency, H.E. Dominique Dellicour - EU Ambassador/Head of Delegation, Agnès Guillaud - Chargée d’Affaires a.i. EU Delegation, H.E. Gerhard Deiss - Ambassador of Austria, H.E. Johan Verkammen – Ambassador of Belgium, Ms. Margaret Jacob 1st Secretary – Embassy of Germany, Ms Anita Martin – Resident Representative of the German Embassy, Mr. Alfredo Gadea – 1st Secretary of the Embassy of the Kingdom of Spain, Mr. Jean Marc Transon – Embassy of France and H.E. Pieter Jan Kleiweg de Zwaan – Ambassador of the Netherlands. From the Gambian side were present: Hon. Susan Wafa-Ogoo – Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hon. Abdou Kolley – Minister of Finance & Economic Affairs, Hon. Ousman Sonko – Minister of Interior, Hon. Nana Grey-Johnson – Minister of Information and Communication Infrastructure, Hon. Amie Joof – Attorney General and Minister of Justice, H.E. Mamour A. Jagne – Ambassador of The Gambia to the EU & BENELUX, Mariam Ndure-Njie – PS. Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mod A. K. Secka – PS. National Authorising Officer of Ministry of Finance & Economic Affairs, Sulayman O. Njie – Deputy PS. Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Muhamed Mboob – Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ousman F. Njie – Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Malang Nyass and Emily Foon Sarr – National Authorizing Officer Support Unit.
The EU welcomes The Gambia’s agreement to resume the dialogue. And that we were able to discuss a full range of issues of mutual concern. Amongst other things, we addressed:
1) Security challenges in the region;
2) Consequences of the introduction of bio-metric data for Schengen visas;
3) The political and economic situation in both the EU and The Gambia, including governance and human rights issues as laid down in the essential elements of the Cotonou Agreement;
4) EU assistance.
The EU looks forward to pursuing the political dialogue on the subjects referred as above.