By Ndey Sowe
The Gambia’s Vice President, Dr. Isatou Touray, has dispelled what she called misinformation carried by the media that the government signed deportation deal with Swiss authorities.
Madam Touray made this remark on Friday afternoon, 12th February, 2021 when the Switzerland Vice President visited her.
With regard to her visit to Swiss, VP Touray said: “My visit also triggered some misinformation at the time I went there. I can remember the media carried so much information saying that we went to sign ‘deportation’ of Gambians. It is not true and I want to dispel it here. It has nothing to do with deportation. Migration is broader than deportation and that was not what we went there for, and is not an issue.”
She added: “Migration is a development matter and it is not about deportation alone, it deals with development of issues in terms of how we deal with our country and other countries.”
Nonetheless, VP Touray said the visit was a very important one for the country, saying it marked the beginning of a strong partnership and trust between the two countries. She said they were there to sign two important agreements; one of them was migration matters and the other was air space agreement.
“We also had other discussions with regards to bilateral and multilateral issues and to reconsider as a partner because Swiss is already known for its democracy, human rights, and process in development,” she said.
Madam Touray added that Swiss is a small country coming out of a difficult situation and they need to look for partners that they can learn from, share best practices and also move together to make the world a better place.
Iqnatio Cassis, Vice President of Switzerland, said his propose of meeting The Gambia’s Vice President is in regards to a meeting they had in Bern, where a Gambian delegation went to Swiss to sign an agreement and they decided to meet again in order to operationalize their Sub- Saharan Africa Strategy for Swiss for the next four years.
“We started our trip by North Africa and went up to Mali, Senegal and we decided to have a stop here. We already discussed most of the issues in Bern last month to find operational ways in order to strengthen our relationships,” he highlighted.
Among the issues they discussed, Cassis said, were bilateral operation in peace and security, human rights, detention- where they will visit the prisons to look at the conditions of the center of the population, and water management.
He said water is a very important source of richness for The Gambia which needs capacity building in many ways in order to make it work out to give value addition to the country.
Commenting on remittances, Swiss VP said because of Covid-19 remittances is decreasing. He thanked Gambia’s Vice President for welcoming the Swiss delegation to the Gambia.