The new Ambassador and executive secretary of the Senegalo-Gambia Permanent Secretariat in Banjul has said that their Excellences, Presidents, Adama Barrow and Macky Sall, of The Gambia and Senegal, respectively, are very committed to taking the relations between their two countries to higher heights.
Ambassador Seck was at the State House to pay a courtesy call on President Barrow for the first time since assuming office in July this year.
“I am here to seek advice, and most importantly, the support of President Adama Barrow, as the executive secretary of the Senegambia Secretariat. President Barrow spoke of how important this Secretariat is to him and his colleague-brother, President Macky Sall,” the top diplomat told the State House press corps.
Prior to his appointment as executive secretary of the Senegambian secretariat, His Excellency, Mr Fode Seck was the permanent representative of Senegal to the United Nations. Ambassador Seck, a widely respected, consummate diplomat, served as a long-time ambassador and diplomatic counselor to the Prime Minister of Senegal from 2002.
Mr Seck was accompanied to the State House by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr Momodou Tangara. The chief Gambian diplomat told the State House press corps that the two Presidents wish to give the secretariat a new lease life that commensurates with the new dispensation:
“We have all witnessed the level that the two presidents have brought the Senegal-Gambia rapport in all fields. So my job with my colleagues at the Secretariat, along with the deputy ambassador is very important. That’s why we need the President’s counsel and advice.”
The Senegal-Gambia Secretariat started as an interstate committee during the First Republic that worked hard to produce the short-lived Senegambia Confederation in 1981. It was during the tenure of Minister Tangara and his Senegalese counterpart, Madike Niang, as foreign ministers of the two countries that it was brought back to life by signing a bilateral agreement.
The Senegalese ambassador reiterated the commitment of the two foreign ministers to transform the strong desire of close integration of the leaders of both countries into action. “When they met here for the very first Presidential joint conference in The Gambia, myself and Tangara were both in New York as permanent representatives of our respective countries and we were so happy watching the two Presidents renew hopes of the Senegambian people,” adding that he has got a personal experience of how eager and happy the peoples of the countries are about stronger ties between the two neighbours.
Ambassador Seck also outlined the activities and progress of the crucial work being spearheaded by the secretariat, ranging from border demarcation to closed cooperation and intelligence exchanges between the security services of the two countries to stem out cross-border crimes. He said the Joint Border Management Commission, under the auspices of the Secretariat, met in Dakar and came up with a roadmap to tour the entire borders on the North and the South banks to sensitise the people that we are the same. He also disclosed that the heads of the two armed forces of the two countries met to discuss and produce a protocol and operational mechanisms of eliminating trans-border criminal activities.