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Amir Sillah urges Gambians to unite for successful OIC summit

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By Olimatou Coker

With less than two weeks before the country hosts the 15th OIC summit, the Amir of Al Karaama Society, a reading and scholar group promoting Gambian literature, has said the successful hosting of next month’s summit is a burden on every Gambian’s shoulder and not just the government.

Speaking to The Standard, Amir Yaya Sillah said the summit will provide a unique chance for small Gambia to prove to the world what it is capable of.

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“Although The Gambia is small in size, our hospitality is supreme and well recognised in Africa and beyond. I want to make a special call to imams and community leaders to preach unity and peace which are essential for a successful summit in our country,” he said.

Sillah said The Gambia and the OIC have a long history with the country playing a key role in the formation and early life of the organization with former president Jawara becoming chairman of the OIC Peace Committee in 1974.

“Furthermore, after the 1981 failed coup attempt in Gambia, in the spirit of unity as stipulated by the OIC Charter, Saudi Arabia donated $10 million aid The Gambia’s recovery.

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Also, in  1984, President Jawara successfully secured from OIC members some $120 million in grants for countries affected by the drought in the Sahel region,” Amir Sillah said.

He said during that period  and in the same spirit, The Gambia played a pivotal role in ending conflicts between Iraq and Iran, Pakistan and India, also between Senegal and Mauritania.

“So when we now have a chance to host it,  we must as a nation put aside all political and religious differences in pursuit of the national interest.

I am confident that once again Gambians will rise to the occasion and welcome guests with the love and generosity for which our country is renowned,” Amir Sillah concluded.

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