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Senegal has no interest in destabilising Gambia - Wade

Jan 8, 2010, 9:24 AM

Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade at the end of a two-day working visit to The Gambia declared that his government "has no interest whatsoever to destabilise The Gambia."

Responding to journalists' questions at a press conference held at the end of his visit, President Wade commented on reports of the destabilisation efforts of Kukoi Samba Sanyang and other Gambian "dissidents" in Senegal.

President Wade categorically declared that his government has no interest in destabilising The Gambia.

He disclosed that he has issued directives that the Gambian security can visit Senegal at any time, "and if they identify any criminal, bring him or her back to The Gambia." 

But he was quick to say that "political dissidents" would not be surrendered.

The Senegalese leader used the opportunity to express his gratitude to the Gambian leader, President Yahya Jammeh, the government and the people of The Gambia for the warm welcome and hospitality accorded to him and his delegation.

He described the Gambian people as 'very receptive,' saying he was deeply touched by the tumultuous welcome accorded to him.

He said he would reciprocate by inviting President Jammeh to pay a state visit to Senegal.

President Wade further told journalists that he has always appreciated and acknowledged the positive developments registered by the government of The Gambia.

President Jammeh, speaking at the same news conference, expressed his gratitude to President Wade for making such an important visit, describing it as a step in the right direction.

On the first day of his visit, Wade called on his compatriots residing in The Gambia to desist from any activity that would make their stay difficult for them in the country.

Addressing a meeting with the Senegalese community in The Gambia, he advised his compatriots to be law-abiding and to fully respect the laws of the land, stressing on the fruitful bilateral and deep cultural relations between the two countries.

"There is no difference between The Gambia and Senegal since we are the countries that share the same border and The Gambia and Senegal have a good relationship which will be nurtured and continued," President Wade said, dismissing speculation that the governments of Senegal and The Gambia are at loggerheads.