By: Kebba AF Touray
The Gambia National Assembly has on Monday 15th March 2021, established friendship groups with its foreign counterparts’ parliaments in Serbia, Venezuela, Mauritania and Senegal
The establishments of the said parliamentary groups, inter alia seeks to strengthen bilateral relations between the aforesaid nations.
Kebba K Barrow, Majority Leader and Member for Kombo South, who laid motions, said the establishment of the said parliamentary friendship groups aims to foster Inter-Parliamentary diplomacy.
He said it also aims to further contribute to the development of the bilateral and cooperative relations that promote mutual exchange in the areas of development of the Gambian Parliament and the said foreign legislatures, as well as serves the linkages between the Gambia and the legislatures on all cooperation and support.
“The Friendship with the Gambia shall consist of a Chairperson and eight other members. Membership to the group shall be nominated by the committee of selection in accordance with the Standing Orders, Membership shall reflect the different political opinion as well as gender,” he said.
On Venezuela Friendship Group, Majority Leader informed the Assembly that the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela led by the late President Hugo Chavez, sought ties with The Gambia during the African Union summit held in the Gambia in 2006 and the ties were subsequently established during the said AU Summit.
On Serbia Friendship Group, he explained that the Foreign Affairs Minister of the Gambia on Tuesday 9th February 2021 received a letter of credence from the Ambassador of the Republic of Serbia to The Gambia. He said The Gambia has recently signed MoU with Serbia to foster parliamentary diplomacy, social and economic development between the two countries.
On Gambia-Senegal Friendship Group he said: “The two countries share a common heritage, geography and people. Senegal and The Gambia are one people sharing the same language, religion and ethnic background. The people of both countries intermarry and trade among themselves.”
He stressed that forming friendship group between Banjul and Dakar will further strengthen the already existing bilateral relation and enhance the people to people contacts and relations at sectorial levels.
He made similar remarks on the Friendship Group with Mauritania and expressed his belief that if effectively implemented, it will further cement relations and cooperation between Nouakchott and Banjul.
Lawmakers extended their support towards the establishment of the aforesaid Friendship Groups, reiterating that they will enhance both parliamentary diplomacy and relation between Banjul and the countries.
The Assembly subsequently endorsed the formation of the parliamentary friendship groups among Gambia, Venezuela, Serbia, Mauritania and Senegal