Gambia-UK relations celebrated at king’s coronation reception

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By Lamin Cham

The British High Commissioner David Belgrove has said the coronation of King Charles III reflects the modern, diverse, multi-faith United Kingdom, promoting the themes of youth, community, diversity and sustainability.

Addressing a reception held Admiralty House, staged to mark the occasion attended by government officials and a cross section of Gambians, diplomats among others, Belgove told the audience of his delight that many in the gathering reflect similar values, especially those from charities and civil society organisations.


He further stated that the British monarchy has a unique constitutional role in the UK and the other 14 Commonwealth realms who have kept the monarch as their head of state and the coronation represents continuity, stability and service. “I know the King and Queen still remember fondly, when, as the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall, they visited The Gambia in 2018, especially the warm welcome for which The Gambia is rightly famous.

The friendship between our two countries covers every aspect of life, from sharing best practice in our similar parliamentary and legal systems, to trade and tourism, protecting human rights both domestic and international, to a shared concern for the environment and climate change.

We also have a long history of military and security cooperation, defending democracy, freedom and supporting stability, demonstrated here today by the 3 Scots Battalion looking splendid in their kilts.

So as well as well as celebrating the Coronation of their majesties today, we celebrate that friendship,” Belgove said as he raises a toast for the King and President Barrow. He thanked his staff and sponsor Standard Chartered bank for the splendid reception. 

Responding to the High Commissioner’s remarks Defense Minister Sering Modou Njie, on behalf of the government said the event was justifiable giving the long and historical relationship between the two countries. He revealed that both the late Queen and her son King Charles visited The Gambia and the most recent was by the King after the 2016 elections.

Minister Njie said the Government of The Gambia recognises the invaluable contributions and partnership of the United Kingdom which continues to be a major development partner always poised to contribute to the realisation of the national development objectives and priorities of The Gambia especially in the security and education sectors, the bedrock of any developed nation.

“Last year, the Armed Forces of the United Kingdom, prepared a training session with the Gambia Armed Forces on United Nations Quick Reaction Force bid, improving maritime security and countering terrorism. In the same year a proposal was made to deploy a senior British military official to The Gambia to work with the Ministry of Defence concerning high level military exercises and training.

The Gambia Police Force also received an offer from the Police Adviser, British Support Team in Africa for “Police Force Peace Support Training UN Formed Police Unit,” which operated from January to March, 2022. The foregoing activities serve as clear manifestation of the United Kingdom’s interest in a stable and peaceful Gambia,” he said.

”The Government of The Gambia is therefore very much appreciative of the efforts of the Government of the United Kingdom as the latter continues to accompany us in nurturing our young democracy which is anchored on the principles of promoting good governance, respect for human rights, freedom of speech among others as a necessary prerequisite for the maintenance of a peaceful, democratic and prosperous society. In conclusion, I wish to convey the government and people of the Gambia’s renewed commitment to continue the cordial and fruitful partnership with the government and people of the United Kingdom at all levels for mutual benefit. We also therefore seize this opportunity to wish His Excellency Majesty King Charles III good health, personal wellbeing and a remarkably successful reign,” Minister Njie said

The CEO of Standard Chartered bank Chuks Ugha said his institution which operates globally for 170 years is always happy to partner with friends at the British High Commission at any opportunity possible especially for one that is as historically significant as the coronation of King Charles.

“Let us celebrate this historic moment with pride and joy for our friends. As we look forward to a bright future under the leadership of King Charles III. May God continue to prosper and thrive the UK and commonwealth of nations under his reign for generations to come,” CEO Ugha said.