The bilateral relationship between The Gambia and Senegal continues to be deepened following a 24-hour visit by Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade, which ended yesterday.
At the end of the visit, the two leaders signed a joint communique that aims to foster relations between the two neighbouring countries.
Below we reproduce the full text of the communique:
"At the invitation of his brother and friend, His Excellency Sheikh Professor Alhagie Dr. Yahya A.J.J. Jammeh President and Head of State of the Republic of The Gambia, His Excellency Maitre Abdoulaye Wade, President and Head of State of the Republic of Senegal, paid an official visit to the Republic of The Gambia on Tuesday 5th and Wednesday 6th January, 2010.
His Excellency Maitre Abdoulaye Wade was accompanied to The Gambia by a high-ranking delegation comprising Maitre Madicke Niang, Minister of State and Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Madame Awa Ndiaye, Minister of State at the Presidency, Madam Innocence Ntap, Minister of State at the Presidency, Mr. Moustapha Sourang, Minister of State at the Presidency, Madame Ndeye Khady Diop, Minister of State and Minister responsible for the Family, Food Security, Women's Entrepreneurship, Micro-finance, and Young Children, Mr Abdourahim Agne, Minister for Telecommunications, Road, and Rail Transport, Mr. Kalidou Diallo, Minister for Early Childhood, Primary, Secondary Education and National Languages, Mr. Samuel Amete Sarr, Minister of Energy, and other Senior Government Officials.
His Excellency Maitre Abdoulaye Wade and his delegation were met on arrival at Banjul International Airport by His Excellency Sheikh Professor Alhagie Dr. Yahya A.J.J. Jammeh, President of the Republic of The Gambia. Her Excellency the Vice President, the Honourable Speaker of the National Assembly, His Lordship the Chief Justice, Cabinet Ministers, Members of the Diplomatic and Consular Corps, Religious and Traditional Leaders, and a cross section of the Gambian society.
During the visit, the two Heads of State had a tête-à-tête discussion during which they reviewed the political and economic situation of The Gambia and Senegal, the developments on the African continent, as well as issues of common concern.
The two Heads of State expressed the need to consolidate friendship and cooperation between the two countries. They also reiterated their resolve to work closely for the benefit of the two nations.
The two Heads of State also decided to cooperate fully for the protection of coastal areas and the combat of coastal erosion.
They also reaffirmed their determination to undertake bilateral and regional action in the combating of coastal erosion.
In discussing issues of common concern in the sub-region and the African continent at large, the two Heads of State stressed their conviction that there can be no internal stability without regional peace and, therefore, undertake to cooperate in the fight against all forms of threat to peace, security, and progress in the sub-region and in the African continent. They also reiterated the importance of justice, tolerance, and respect for the rule of law to global peace and security.
The two Heads of State had a similar point of view on the need to achieve African Unity.
In the course of the visit, ensuing discussions between the two Heads of State and officials on both the Gambian side and the Senegalese side resulted in the following decisions:
* The Gambian side decided to waive the requirement of Alien Cards for Senegalese nationals resident in The Gambia.
* The Gambian side and the Senegalese side have agreed on the construction of a bridge over the River Gambia. The two sides have further agreed that the bridge will be managed by the Gambian side.
* The Gambian side and the Senegalese side agreed to work constructively towards the reviving of the Senegalo-Gambian Permanent Secretariat.
* The Gambian side and the Senegalese side agreed on the convening of the next Joint Commission between the two countries in April 2010.
* The Gambian side and the Senegalese side also agreed to convene a Consultative Commission between the two countries jointly headed by their Excellencies the Vice President of the Republic of The Gambia and the Prime Minister of the Republic of Senegal
* The Gambian side and the Senegalese side agreed to regular consultations between Ministers and Senior Government Officials on both sides aimed at reinforcing bilateral ties.
* The two sides agreed on their resolve to settle jointly border differences between the two countries through a Consultative Border Commission set up by the two governments to the effect.
* The two sides signed an agreement on security matters to ensure the enhancing of peace and security in the two countries.
His Excellency Maitre Abdoulaye Wade expressed his gratitude to His Excellency Sheikh Professor Alhagie Dr Yahya AJJ Jammeh, the Government, and the people of The Gambia for the warm reception and generous hospitality accorded to him and his delegation during their stay in The Gambia.
His Excellency Maitre Abdoulaye Wade extended an invitation to His Excellency Sheikh Professor Alhagie Dr. Yahya A.J.J. Jammeh to visit the Republic of Senegal.
His Excellency Sheikh Professor Alhagie Dr. Yahya A.J.J. Jammeh accepted His Excellency Maitre Abdoulaye Wade's invitation to visit Senegal in the near future.
The dates for the visit will be confirmed through diplomatic channels.
Done in Banjul, on this 6th day of January 2010 in the English and French Languages, both texts being equally authentic."