The Gambian Ambassador to Belgium His Excellency, Mr. Pa Musa Jobarteh on Friday 10th March 2023 presented his Letters of Credence to the President of the European Council, Mr. Charles Michel who leads the EU's political body responsible for setting its direction and priorities.
During the closed-door meeting between the two, Ambassador Jobarteh conveyed warm greetings and best wishes from the President of the Republic of The Gambia, His Excellency Adama Barrow. He also expressed gratitude to the EU for the key role it played in restoring democracy in The Gambia and for being the country's most important development partner.
Ambassador Jobarteh reminded the EU Council President of the level of progress made since the change of government with fewer Gambians now embarking on the dangerous illegal migration. He stressed the need for better understanding and broader engagements to include legal pathways to migration and the need for the proper reintegration of those returned.
Ambassador Jobarteh advised against The Gambia being punished with visa sanctions during such a critical stage of its democratic transition which could be counterproductive. He finished off by describing President Barrow as a patient man who symbolizes stability and hope, a quality necessary for the peace, stability and sustainability of The Gambia's democratic gains.
For his part, the EU President congratulated Ambassador Jobarteh on his appointment, and expressed the keen interest with which he followed The Gambia's elections. President Michel took the opportunity to congratulate the Gambian people for the peaceful manner they have conducted the 2021 presidential election.
The two further discussed matters related to development cooperation, trade, peace, security, and migration. They agreed on the fact that The Gambia is still going through a political transition and that both the EU Council and the Gambia government are under constant pressure on the issue of migration, which therefore warrants continuous engagement and understanding at the highest political level.
He concluded by emphasizing the EU's commitment to maintaining a strong relationship with The Gambia as a loyal partner. He added that the EU is already considering legal routes to migration; that it will continue to engage in dialogue on all matter, to ensure the continuity of the needed development supports for the strengthening of The Gambia's democratic institutions.