Minister hails security relations with Turkey

Jun 13, 2024, 11:48 AM | Article By: Momodou Jawo

Sering Modou Njie, the minister for Defence has underscored the strong, cordial and bilateral relationship that exists between The Gambia and Turkey, describing it as “special”.

The relationship between Turkey and The Gambia dates back to 1965, characterised by strong ties both bilaterally and multilaterally, particularly within the United Nations and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation. Turkish military officers have been providing training to Gambian soldiers since the 1990s. 

In an exclusive interview with Yeni Sefak TV in Istanbul, Turkey, at the sidelines of the Efes 2024 Military Exercise held in Turkey, the Gambian minister spoke on wide range on issues ranging from the relationship between the two countries, defence and security cooperation and the just concluded OIC summit among others.

On the invitation of Turkish Defence Minister, The Gambia Defence minister and the country’s army chief and other officials attended the Efes convergence.

“These two countries continue to enjoy happily the bilateral relationship that exists between the two great countries. In fact, I can tell you the relationship between the two governments continues to increase in many sectors.”

The two countries, Njie said, have signed numerous bilateral agreements ranging from education, health and transportation and many other sectors of the economy.

“However, as the minister of Defence of The Gambia and talking about the achievements we have registered so far in the defence and the security sector between the two countries,  we have achieved great things in the defence and security sector and we have signed very important agreements in the defence sector,” he affirmed.

Under the ages/aegis of cooperation agreement on defence and security, he stated, The Gambia continues to receive “invaluable support” from Turkey.

“On the side of capacity building for our armed forces, The Gambia continues to send military officers and soldiers to Turkey for training. We also receive numerous supports in the area of military equipment. We have very good defence and security relations with the government of Turkey,” he emphasised.

“We will continue to applaud and thank the government of Turkey for their support. I equally want to thank the minister of Defence for his support to our armed forces as our soldiers continue to enjoy training in Turkey.”

“In fact, we have signed another important agreement which is on the military framework agreement between the two defence ministries. This is to enable the two armed forces of both countries to cooperate further. Again, it is important to note that this is made possible because of the healthy relationship at the highest level between the two presidents.”

On the just concluded 15th OIC summit which was held in the country and attended by 57 member states and representatives, Defence Minister Njie described the summit as “successful.”

“On behalf of President Barrow and the people of The Gambia, I want to sincerely thank all the member countries that participated in the summit for their invaluable support to the government of The Gambia in making sure that the summit is hosted successfully.”

During the summit, he went on, member states discussed about the OIC member states, economy, trade, transportation and peace and security among others. It was a successful summit and we want to thank the countries that have participated and for their support to The Gambia.”

Commenting on the significance of the Efes Forum, Minister Njie said: “In this year’s conference, we have learned new things because there has been a new weapon technological system which has been added in this year’s exercise. Not only that, but Turkey has also asked other member countries to participate using their own troops.”

“This is not a simple exercise. The coordination of such a very high level combined operation that was done successfully is something that we should all congratulate the Republic of Turkey. I want to use this opportunity to congratulate the minister of Defence of Turkey and their armed forces for organising such a high level exercise.”