The President Sheikh Professor Alh Dr Yahya Jammeh on Thursday received in audience five foreign diplomats accredited to the Gambia. They were the Ambassadors of Israel, Gabon, Cote d’Ivoire, the Kingdom of Netherlands and the Indian High Commissioner. In an interview with reporters the Israeli Ambassador Dr Eli Bentume said he had a fruitful discussion with president Jammeh on the possibility of training Gambians in Israel on various fields including agriculture, Education and Tourism. Dr Bentuma said Professor Jammeh has acknowledged the brotherly ties among Muslims, Christians and Jews. He extolled prof. Jammeh’s intelligence and warmth and hoped to further strengthen ties between Israel and the Gambia. The Gabonese Ambassador Guy Blaise Nambowezet said the Gabonese government is committed to deepening the existing cordial relations between his country and the Gambia particularly in the areas of Tourism and natural resources. The Indian High Commissioner Pearha Satpathy said his discussions with the Gambian leader centered on education and capacity building. He also spoke of his resolve to accelerate corporation in the sectors of defense and security as well as donate computers to schools in the country. Ambassador Peter Jan De Zwaan of the kingdom of Netherlands said his country has excellent bilateral relations with the Gambia including trade, tourism and humanitarian services. He said his discussions with President Jammeh focused on bilateral cooperation and shared values particularly in human rights and the rule of law. the Ivoirian Ambassador General Tiate Kassarate acknowledged President Jammeh’s high sense of pan Africanism and commitment to peace and security in Cote d’ Ivoire and Africa. He described the relations between Banjul and Abidjan as cordial.
The Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs Abdou Kolley on Thursday presided over the inauguration of the Board of the Financial Intelligence Unit FIU. The Financial Intelligence Unit which used to be a unit of the Central Bank is now a fully independent body tasked with the responsibility to assist in the identification of proceeds of criminal conduct and combating money laundering and terrorism financing among others. Speaking on the occasion Minister Colley reiterated the Gambia government’s commitment in the fight against money laundering and terrorism financing. He explained that in 2008 a report by the Inter-Governmental Action Group against Money Laundering GIABA revealed that the Gambia registered deficiencies in legal and institutional framework. He said the finding was made during an exercise to gauge the country’s level of compliance with Anti-Money Laundering as well as terrorism financing. The Governor Central Bank Amadou Kolley who doubles as the chair of the FIU board described money laundering and the terrorism financing as threats that transcend borders.
The Permanent Secretary (2) Ministry of Agriculture has acknowledged the contributions of the government and people of Japan towards the country`s drive to attain food security. Dr Sait Drammeh was speaking at the start of a consultative committee meeting on the Japanese Grant Assistance for the Food Aid Project for the fiscal Year 2011 dubbed KR. The one-day forum held in Banjul on Thursday was aimed at enhancing the effective execution of the D90 million project. The forum brought together representatives from the governments of The Gambia and Japan. The meeting discussed issues relevant to the successful implementation of the 2011 KR. Dr Drammeh thanked the Japanese for their benevolence noting that the initiative which is more than three decades old now has and continues to impact positively on the livelihoods of Gambians. He noted that the grant which has also provided farm inputs has helped ease the impact of the rising price of rice on Gambian consumers. Dr Drammeh said the Gambia treasures the partnership and called on participants to ensure that the outcome of the meeting would lead to the efficient management of the assistance. The first Secretary at the Japanese Embassy Akiko Takano expressed hope that the meeting would further enhance the realization of the project as well as relations between the two countries.