Banjul, London vow to improve post-Jammeh ties

APA-Banjul (The Gambia)

The Gambia and Britain have made a joint vow to improve diplomatic ties in the wake of the exit of long term ruler Yahya Jammeh.

Under Jammeh Banjul had strained relations with London, which worsened after the country severed ties with the Commonwealth, an organization of mainly English-speaking countries with past colonial ties to Britain.  

With Jammeh no longer in power after losing last December’s presidential elections and fleeing into exile, Banjul-London relations have been revived with both countries renewing their commitment to deepen ties.

This commitment was made as the new UK ambassador to Banjul, Sharon Wardle presented her credentials to Gambian President Adama Barrow on Wednesday.

The British diplomat commended the new government in Banjul for restoring democracy and the rule of law in The Gambia, a country which used to be celebrated as a bastion of human rights in West Africa before Jammeh’s coup which brought him to power in 1994.

She said London was closely encouraging and facilitating the process of Gambia re-joining the Commonwealth after a four-year absence.

The new administration in Banjul had applied to re-join the organization.

Ambassador Wardle said the so-called New Gambia in the next few years will witness more British tourists flocking to its beaches to boost its tourism sector and create more jobs for its citizens as a result.

She pledged London’s unalloyed support to Banjul in the higher education sphere, citing the UK’s flagship Chevening scholarships program to which Gambians continued to be beneficiaries even after the country withdrew from the Commonwealth.

Shortly after meeting the British diplomat, President Barrow announced on his Facebook page that The Gambia under his watch is open to relations with all countries of the world and will cultivate better ties with former colonial power Britain for mutual economic and social benefit.


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