President Barrow Praises ‘High-Level Gambia – Turkey Cooperation’

By Abdoulie John

President Adama Barrow on Monday praised the high-level cooperation existing between The Gambia and Turkey, citing the multiple agreements endorsed by both countries.

“Your government has demonstrated strong support to our traditional programme, with military support to the tune of $17 million for a period of five years, which is ongoing,” the Gambian leader said in a joint press conference held at State House, Banjul.

Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan jetted into the tiny West African nation yesterday in a historic visit geared towards expanding ties between the two countries. He vowed to open a new page in the long-standing relationship between the two Gambia and Turkey that would be based on a win-win cooperation.

The Gambian leader expressed appreciation about pledges made by Ankara during his visit, and which consists of building a children’s hospital and offices for lawmakers.

As Gambia is bracing up to host the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Summit in 2021, Barrow seized the opportunity to laud Turkish support through sharing experiences in hosting global event.

President Barrow welcomed the recent establishment of Turkish Agency for International Development (TIKA) in the country, describing the move as an “effective way of harnessing” the cooperation between both countries.

“My government is ready to enhance and explore economic engagements with Turkey, through foreign direct investment,” Barrow added.

Flanked by high level delegation, comprised of government officials and a good number of investors, President Erdogan has vowed to take the two countries’ relationship to the next level.

Erdogan, who left Banjul for the final stop of his African tour (Senegal), pointed out the increase of trade volume between Turkey and Gambia, amounting to $55 million dollars – a situation which is illustrative of the existing strong ties.

As UN Security Council mandated Turkey to send troops to Libya, Erdogan sidestepped a question over a possible involvement of his country in the ongoing migration crisis.

Thousands of Gambia are still held against their will in some Libyan detention centers where they face the risk of being sold into slavery.

He made it clear that the Turkish military forces have a specific mandate in the troubled Northern African country

They are tasked, he said, with the responsibility to train Libyan army tied to the internationally recognised government…


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