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Gambian Foreign Minister visits Senegal

Jan 6, 2011, 12:11 PM

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, International Relations and Gambians Abroad, Dr. Momodou Tangara, Tuesday visited neighbouring Senegal, where he met with his Senegalese counterpart, Madicke Niang, according to APS the Senegalese news agency.

“The Gambia and Senegal is a nation with two states. It rests on us today to go beyond linguistic and geographical cleavages,’’ Dr Tangara told journalists in Dakar during a press conference with his Senegalese counterpart.

“We are constantly in consultation. Therefore, calculations and the speculations do not make us stumble. We know where we are going, and we know that we have an objective. It is to reinforce the relationship and friendship between Gambia and Senegal,” Dr Tangara who was on a day’s working visit in Dakar declared.

He added: “We will harness ourselves to carry out this objective, to have a sincere relationship where there is no suspicion. I think that with the joint committees which are provided, one will put all on the table, and nobody will try to influence things in a negative way.”

Dr Tangara went on to talk about the links between the two presidents, President Yahya Jammeh and Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade, “because they are two convinced Pan Africanists who must be able to get along on the essentials. But, one requires that those who are around them give them the possibility to be able to work together.”

Sometimes, Dr. Tangara went on, we have many people around our entourage who are hawkers of false information, with no acknowledged intentions, and who sow confusion.

He told journalists in Dakar that regular consultations between the two ministers of foreign affairs can help “to cut the grass under the feet’” of the saboteurs.

In connection with the Casamance issue, the Gambian foreign minister said Gambian borders are protected to prevent entry into the Gambia of MFDC rebels (of the Democratic Movement of the Forces of Casamance), or the spilling over of the rebellion in the south of Senegal into The Gambia, which could operate against the national army or affect the civilian population.

On the issue of the “Iranian weapons’ seizure” in Nigeria, for which Senegal required a major explanation from Iran, Dr. Tangara revealed that the subject could not be eluded, at the time of his meeting with his Senegalese counterpart.

However, he gave assurance that they were not intended for The Gambia, but added that it was not the direct cause of the recent decision taken by The Gambia to break diplomatic relations with Iran.

“It is a step which was in the offing for a very long time. It has been more than one year, since we did not have any more an embassy in Tehran. In fact, since I became minister, I did not meet the foreign minister of Iran,” he further told the journalists.

Source: APS