By Lamin Cham
President Adama Barrow has yesterday arrived to a hero’s welcome in New York where he is attending the 72nd UN General Assembly.
A large crowd of Gambians lined up the streets as the president and entourage arrived.
According to reports monitored from NY, many Gambians expressed delight at seeing the president for the first time in their lives after hearing a lot about him during and after the election debacle at the beginning of the year.
“We are very happy to be here in these new circumstances. Previously we used to gather here demonstrating against former president, now we are all happy that the new president has come with much respect for the Gambia,” said one of the revelers near the UN House.
Meanwhile President Barrow’s office has announced that he will take time to meet Gambians in the USA during the trip, which will include delivering his maiden speech at the UN.
Meanwhile President Adama Barrow has said The Gambia’s support to Morocco is to promote African solidarity and to improve relations with The Gambia. He made these remarks to the Moroccan Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nasser Bourita, an envoy of His Majesty, King Muhammad IV, who called on him in New York.
President Barrow recognized the Moroccan support during the political impasse in The Gambia, which he said was an African problem, addressed using an African solution. He told the diplomat that The Gambia has turned a new page in its history to bring in new laws that would promote equality and justice. Their discussion also emphasized the importance of security in achieving other development goals.
The Gambian leader congratulated the Moroccan Foreign Minister for his appointment and extended his gratitude to the King of Morocco for building a new office complex for he Ministry of Foreign Affairs in The Gambia, contributing to the infrastructural development of the country. He called on Morocco to invest in other areas and concluded that through integration they could understand their mutual concerns and work together to further strengthen their cooperation.
Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita thanked President Barrow for the support The Gambia accorded to Morocco in ECOWAS and at other regional and international forums. He also spoke of the deeply rooted relations between the two countries, saying they wish to take it to a higher level at a time when The Gambia is entering a new phase in its political life. He promised to expand technical and economic cooperation between Morocco and The Gambia. Minister Bourita informed President Barrow that Morocco would continue to provide support and will increase scholarships from its current figure of 40 to 70 in 2018.
The Gambian Foreign Affairs Minister, Honourable Ousainou Darboe said in an interview that the bilateral and multilateral cooperation span various fields. Minister Darboe elaborated on how Morocco could support the development process currently ongoing in The Gambia particularly security reforms, scholarships for training of diplomats and investment opportunities for Moroccan businesses. He emphasised that through robust investments The Gambia could reduce its dependence on aid. Mr. Darboe also revealed that President Barrow will visit the Kingdom of Morocco to further cement ties between the two countries.