The president of the Republic has extolled the longstanding ties existing between The Gambia and the Kingdom Morocco, saying it has gone beyond political affiliation, and is now more of a blood and family relationship. His Excellency Sheikh Professor Alhaji Dr Yahya Jammeh made this declaration Tuesday at the foundation stone laying ceremony of a new Foreign Affairs Headquarters building in Banjul.
According to him, Morocco is the country that is closest to the hearts of Gambians among the countries in North Africa, not only because of the excellent diplomatic and political relations, but more so the strong blood relation that dates back centuries. "It is not just a diplomatic ally, but a partner and a brother in development," he said.
The Gambian leader stated his commitment and that of his government in working closely with the government of Morocco, "so that our strong bilateral ties would be further harnessed and enhanced for the mutual benefit of the two peoples and countries". He extended gratitude and appreciation on behalf of all Gambians to His Majesty the King of Morocco, the Royal Family and the entire government and people of the Kingdom of Morocco.
"I want to express my sincere appreciation and gratitude once again on behalf of all Gambians to the King for approving the funding and providing technical expertise for the construction of the new[Ministry of] Foreign Affairs headquarters," he said, adding that the move is a clear manifestation of the excellent and strong bonds of friendship, brotherhood and cooperation that happily exist between the two countries.
At the same ceremony on Tuesday, President Jammeh expressed his vision in transforming the Gambian capital Banjul, saying it has been part of his national development priority aspiration. "It has become apparent that some of the infrastructure housing key institutions of the state will have to be modernised, given that they have aged with time and most of them are in Banjul," he said, adding that from the Arch 22 to the under-construction National Assembly complex which is just a few meters away from the newsite for Foreign Office building will be the beginning of his transformation process which will eventually make Banjul a landmark city not only in the sub-region and in Africa but in the entire world.
The Gambian leader recalled pre-1994 when Banjul used to be called a small muddy village. He said it is still called a small capital but noted that it is one of the cleanest capitals in the whole world and that five years from now by the grace of Almighty Allah it will be one of the most beautiful small capitals in the whole world.