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Gambia Will Never Betray Taiwan - Says President Jammeh

Jun 29, 2009, 6:22 AM | Article By: Nfamara Jawneh

As Taiwan Donates Four Patrol Boats to Gambia

The Gambian leader President Yahya Jammeh has reaffirmed his government's commitment to maintaining the existing cordial relations with the Republic of China on Taiwan (ROC).

The Gambia leader gave this assurance on Friday 26th June 2009 at the Naval Command in Banjul during a hand-over ceremony of four new patrol boats donated by the government of Taiwan to The Gambia.

According to him, The Gambia will never turn its back on Taiwan. "We will never betray you no matter what," he said.

He further pledged that The Gambia under his leadership would always stand by the side of Taiwan at the international arena to fight its cause.

He described the gift of four-patrol boats to the Gambia Navy as unprecedented. He thus thanked the government, Armed Forces and people of Taiwan for what he called "their kindness to humanity".

He noted that the gesture amply demonstrated the existing co-operation between the two countries.

President Jammeh stressed that the gesture would no doubt boost the operations of the navy in its quest to secure the country's territorial waters from all forms of illegal activities.

He urged the concerned authorities to take proper care of the boats to ensure their sustainability.

According to officials, this is the largest single foreign military aid that the Gambia Armed Forces have received in a year.

For his part, Major-General Lang Tombong Tamba, Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), applauded the Republic of China on Taiwan for its openness, kindness and humanity.

He emphasized that Taiwan has always been a consistent partner of the Gambia Armed Forces and that some 14 officers were trained in Taiwan for the maintenance of the donated boats.

Andrew Hsia, Deputy Foreign Minister of Taiwan, in handing over the boats, conveyed heartfelt greetings from his president Ma Ying-joeu to the government and people of The Gambia. He thanked the people of The Gambia for the warm welcome accorded him and his delegation.

He also reaffirmed his country's resolve to maintain and strengthen relations with The Gambia.

The Gambia's Chief of Naval Staff Commandant Sarjo Fofana emphasised the need to secure The Gambia's marine resources from terrorists, pirates and other illegal entry. "These new boats will no doubt boost the operations of the navy," he said.