By Nelson Manneh
President Adama Barrow has recently received the Letters of Credence of the Malaysian High Commissioner to The Gambia, H.E Shazelina Zainul Abidin, and the Ambassador of the Arab Republic of Egypt, H.E Noha Ahmed MAHER KHEDR, at a ceremony held at the State House in Banjul, on Tuesday 2nd February 2021.
In welcoming the diplomats, President Barrow congratulated both and through them, extended greetings to their respective Heads of States and Governments.
While expressing his Government’s readiness to work together with both the Republic of Malaysia and the Arab Republic of Egypt, President Barrow detailed the areas of trade, tourism, renewable energy and capacity building through education and training, as possible areas of cooperation.
The Gambian leader said he was elated by the presentation of the credentials, saying “it will enhance the already existing very good relationships as well as strengthen African integration in the case of Egypt.”
The Malaysian High Commissioner who spoke to the media after the meeting, said his country has good relations with The Gambia, which she intends to enhance through education for students and professional training for civil servants in various areas; that in addition to being members of The Commonwealth and the OIC, the Malaysian Government is considered a good friend of the Gambia with their bilateral relations anchored on mutual respect.
She said the Government of Malaysia over the past decade, has helped the people of The Gambia particularly in the areas of trade and capacity building, by offering scholarships to deserving students, as well as short and long term training for Gambian civil servants.
In the same vein, the Egyptian Ambassador said the bilateral relations between the two countries, is long-standing, and they are finding new ways of strengthening the already existing strong ties.
The Egyptian Ambassador said in 2018, President Adama Barrow visited for the first time as a Gambian Head of State to the Arab Republic, and since then the relations have improved from strength to strength. The Gambia has received technical assistance in all its key development sectors from The Arab Republic of Egypt.
In a similar diplomatic engagement, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, International Cooperation and Gambians Abroad Dr. Mamadou Tangara, received the Ambassador of the Republic of Ghana to The Gambia, Her Excellency Gloria Poku, who was at the Foreign Ministry to present copies of her Letters of Credence on Tuesday 2nd February, before delivering her actual Letters of Credence to the President of the Republic of The Gambia Adama Barrow, on 3rd February 2021.
The top Diplomats seized the opportunity to discuss the long standing friendly relationship between The Gambia and Ghana dating pre-independence. The discussions centered on ways and means of strengthening the excellent bilateral relations between the two countries.
The Minister on Wednesday 3rd February also received the Ambassador of Austria to The Gambia, Her Excellency Gerlinde Paschinger, in his office in Banjul. Ambassador Paschinger presented copies of her Letters of Credence to the Honourable Minister. Her actual Letters of Credence will be presented to President Barrow on Thursday 4th February at State House.
Minister Tangara and Ambassador Paschinger laid emphasis on the sector of education, in which Austria would provide scholarships to Gambians and also provide long term diplomatic training for junior diplomats at the Foreign Ministry to undergo at the Austrian Diplomatic Academy. These scholarships will contribute immensely to building the capacity of Gambians across the board. During this brief diplomatic engagement, other bilateral issues were also discussed.