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‘Gambia will not cut diplomatic ties with Israel’

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By Omar Bah

Foreign Minister Dr Mamadou Tangara has made it emphatically clear that the Gambia Government has no plans to cut ties with Israel despite growing pressure on countries to isolate the country over its activities in Palestine. The OIC Banjul Summit has recommended an immediate ceasefire in Palestine and the pursuit of a two states solution.

“We do not intend to cut our ties with Israel and we do not act by reacting to situations based on the reactions of others. The Gambia is a sovereign state and whatever decision we take, it will be without the pressure or influence of anyone,” Minister Tangara said, reacting to a Standard question at yesterday’s press conference organised  to discuss the aftermath of the OIC summit.

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He added: “Our philosophy is friend with all and enemy with none and Gambia’s diplomacy is anchored on nonalignment, neutrality and the promotion of dialogue. How can you dialogue with someone when you decide to put him aside? You do not have any opportunity to sit with him. The president has mentioned that now he is the bus driver and I would say he is the captain of the boat so it’s incumbent on all the passengers to make sure we don’t sink the boat so that we can reach our destination safely and to reach our destination being the objective that we assign ourselves to have a peaceful world can only be done through dialogue.”

The minister said The Gambia will continue to work with all the partners but “Gambia strongly believes in two state solutions and whenever a country, even though you are a friend, if you do something that is not in line with our principles, we will not hesitate to condemn it.”

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