Aug 29, 2013, 10:24 AM
Prior to his departure, the Nigerian leader, who was accompanied by a high-ranking delegation, called on President Yahya Jammeh at State House in Banjul, where they had a private discussion behind closed-doors, before signing a joint communiqué, which reaffirmed their government’s resolve to work together for the mutual benefit of their peoples.
Below is the full text of the joint communiqué:
Desiring to reinforce the fraternal relations of friendship and cooperation that happily exist between the Republic of The Gambia and the Federal Republic of Nigeria, His Excellency Dr Goodluck Ebele Jonathan (GCFR), President of the Federal Republic of The Nigeria undertook an official visit to the Republic of The Gambia from 8-9th November 2013 as a guest of His Excellency Sheikh Professor Alhaji Dr Yahya A.J.J Jammeh, President of The Republic of The Gambia.
His Excellency President Jonathan was accompanied to The Gambia by a high ranking delegation including Senator Bala Mohammed, Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT); Honourable Dr Nurudeen Mohammed, Minister of State II for Foreign Affairs; and several other senior government officials.
The visit of His Excellency Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan (GCFR), President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria further enhanced the historical and diverse ties which exist between the two countries. The visit also afforded the opportunity to discuss issues of common interest and concern, and review the bilateral relations between the two countries with a view to examining ways and means by which to further strengthen them in the mutual interest of the two countries’ peoples.
His Excellency President Jonathan and His Excellency President Jammeh met in private to examine the bilateral cooperation between the two countries and exchange views on issues of mutual interest. They also analysed prevailing regional, continental and international problems and discussed possible ways of solving them.
At the bilateral level, the two Presidents examined the various areas of mutually beneficial cooperation, notably the areas of trade, energy, health, justice, maritime transport, education, air transport, and the combat of all forms of illicit trafficking.
The two Presidents examined the various sectors which could improve the trade exchanges between the two countries. They took due note of the existence of the various ECOWAS Protocols relevant to trade to which both countries are Parties a d renewed their commitment to encourage trade between the two countries under the aegis of South-South Cooperation.
The two Presidents agreed to reenergize the Joint Commissions between the two countries, with a view to diversifying and strengthening the cooperation in all the sectors. To this end, they decided to maintain the frequent contacts and consultations so as to implement the agreements concluded during the previous sessions of the Joint Commissions, as well as t pursue the coordination of their actions and cooperation at the regional and international levels.
The two Presidents expressed satisfaction with the climate of peace and understanding which prevails between the two countries and renewed their commitment to mobilize all the resources and energies to ensure the well-being of their peoples.
They also expressed happiness about the dynamism, the exemplary comportment, the level of organization and excellent integration of Gambian and Nigerian communities in each of the two countries, as well as the quality of their reciprocal relations with administrative authorities of each of the receiving countries.
The two Presidents concluded that education and capacity building especially for the youth, are determinants of progress of their peoples. In this regard, they reaffirmed the necessity to develop cooperation in the areas of higher education and research, by giving priority to the sectors of training in order to ensure economic growth, creation of employment and harmonious integration of youths.
Convinced that food security, energy and climate change are closely liked and that poverty reduction and guarantee for sustainable development constitute a major preoccupation for their respective countries, the two Presidents committed to reinforce cooperation in the areas of investment promotion and development of small and medium enterprises.
At the level of Africa, the two Presidents reiterated their pressing call for the international community to support the transition process in Guinea Bissau in accordance with the pertinent decisions adopted by ECOWAS, the African Union and the United Nations.
The two Presidents also talked about the political and socio-economic developments in the West African sub-region within the context of the world economic and financial crisis and understood the necessity to stimulate further the regional integration through the promotion of trade and economic activities between the States.
The two Presidents also urged for acceleration of the programme of integration in Africa, notably through re-invigoration, rationalisation and harmonization of the Regional Economic Communities (RECS).
Concerning the recent developments in the Arab world, the two Presidents expressed their profound preoccupations as to the current political impasse in Egypt and reiterated their commitment to closely work with the international community to quickly find a lasting solution in the interest of stability for sustainable peace and development.
As per the Middle East, the two Presidents deplored the continued spiral of violence in Syria. They therefore pledged their support for the plan of resolution of the crisis as laid down by the United Nations and the Arab League. The two Presidents took due note of the deployment of United Nations Weapons Inspectors and lauded the efforts made in dismantling Syria’s arsenal of chemical weapons. They urged all the actors in the Syrian crisis to work towards a just and sustainable political solution which will ensure the realization of the legitimate aspirations of the brotherly people of Syria, in respect for their sovereignty, territorial integrity and social cohesion of Syria.
Concerning the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the two Presidents showed conviction of the necessity to make more efforts to lessen the suffering caused by hunger, diseases and illiteracy. They further highlighted the need to move faster in a bid to achieve all the goals by focusing on those that are most off-track and on the countries that face particular development challenges with reference to the Least Developed Countries (LDCs), Landlocked Developing Countries (LLDCs), Small Island Developing States (SIDS), and countries affected by or recovering from conflict or disasters.
However, the two Presidents reiterated the need for global reform of the Security Council and the United Nations System in its entirety so as to reflect the current realities. They expressed their conviction that the African continent should be equitably represented in world governance through a better presence on the Security Council and in all agencies of the United Nations.
In the course of this visit, His Excellency Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan (GCFR), President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria commissioned the new Chancery building of the High Commission of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in The Gambia. He also visited the Sandele Ecotourism Park in Kartong. He also expressed his admiration and appreciation for the achievements as well as for the efforts accomplished to promote the economic development of The Gambia.
His Excellency Dr Goodluck Ebele Jonathan (GCFR), President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria was also hosted to an official lunch in his honour by his colleague and brother His Excellency Sheikh Professor Alhaji Dr Yahya A.J.J Jammeh, President of the Republic of The Gambia.
At the end of his official visit to the Republic of The Gambia, His Excellency Dr Goodluck Ebele Jonathan (GCFR), President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria expressed his gratitude by warmly thanking His Excellency Sheikh Professor Alhaji Dr Yahya A.J.J Jammeh, the Government and people of the Republic of The Gambia for the heartily and brotherly reception and generous hospitality accorded to him and his delegation during their stay in The Gambia.
His Excellency Dr Goodluck Ebele Jonathan (GCFR) extended an invitation to his colleague and brother His Excellency Sheikh Professor Alhaji Dr Yahya A.J.J Jammeh to undertake an official visit to the Federal Republic of Nigeria. The invitation was accepted with great pleasure and the dates for the visit will be fixed through diplomatic channels.
Done in Banjul, on this 9th Day of November 2013.