Foreign minister hails Gambia-Turkey relations

Jul 21, 2020, 10:12 AM | Article By: Ismaila Sonko

Dr. Mamadou Tangara, the minister for Foreign Affairs, International Cooperation and Gambians Abroad has said that in an era of rapid globalisation and increased competitiveness in the pursuit of national interests, no nation can develop effectively without implementing a clear strategy that seeks to foster and enhance its bilateral and multilateral development cooperation.

Dr. Tangara made these remarks while tabling the motion on Development Cooperation between the government of The Gambia and the Republic of Turkey on Monday.

He said as a low income country which thrives on foreign assistance, the government of The Gambia is committed to building and strengthening better economic and diplomatic relations with other nations anchored on the values of mutual respect and improved social and economic advancement since the arrival of the new dispensation. "This is evident in the government's efforts to receive its diplomatic mission, renew and strengthen diplomatic ties with key development partners including the Republic of Turkey," he added.

He said cooperation between The Republic of The Gambia and the Republic of Turkey have in recent years increased in significance of the existing bilateral and excellent relations, and developed mutually beneficial cooperation that support socioeconomic development.

"Through its significant contribution towards the promotion of sustainable development in Africa, the Turkish government has offered various study programmes and training designed to enhance capacity building for The Gambia government," he said.

According to him, The Gambia and Turkish governments have respectively not only signed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) beyond the aforementioned agreement but also in the fields of tourism, military cooperation and mutual abolition of visas for diplomatic passport holders.

The foreign minister said inherent in the National Development Plan (NDP) of The Gambia are contribution to the educational infrastructure, development of health protection infrastructure and promotion of development social services system. In addition is increase in agricultural production and rural territories, development of production sectors and increase the level of institutionalisation in public administration.

He added that there is need to work together to enable the implementation of projects or programmes in the field of technical and financial cooperation in order to support sustainable development.

Dr. Tangara said Turkey is a strategic partner with lot of potentials to offer in the areas of trade, investment, agriculture, infrastructure, energy and transportation among others. He added that this is evident in her present economic achievements and standing in the international economic and political arena. “Turkey puts its imprints as one of the most influential countries on the first decade of the millennium which can benefit the Republic of The Gambia with the right policies and cooperation.”

Serrekunda lawmaker Hon. Halifa Sallah pointed out that The Gambia government should not enter into any relationship that will not serve the interest of Gambians.

Hon. Sallah added that the government of Turkey needs to know the development priorities first so that they could help to develop those areas for the benefit of the citizens.

Matarr Jeng, the lawmaker for Lower Nuimi, said that The Gambia is rich in terms of land for farm mechanization, while hoping that with this agreement, Turkey government would help to develop the lands for farming activities.