Addressing the Gambia National Assembly yesterday, Engineer Cipriano Cassama said: “When the political and military crisis hit our country in 2012, it was thanks to President Yayha Jammeh that senior military officers, political leaders, and representatives of civil society gathered here in Banjul for initial commitments to lay the foundation for a peaceful political transition. The Guinean people have not forgotten that gesture of friendship and solidarity from President Jammeh. The political history of my country and The Gambia had always many points of contacts, many crossing and complicities. The secret that continues to maintain these historical ties, is the strong friendship that exists between our two peoples.”
Speaker Cassama, who led a delegation of seven lawmakers from different political told the Gambian parliamentarians: “My visit represents a strengthening of this very old friendship between our two people and the reinforcement of our bilateral relationship. For me it is a gratifying and an unforgettable political moment. My will is to strengthen the institutional solidarity ties between our two parliaments and at same time, to promote the friendship between the two parliaments. Peace, political and institutional stability continue to represent a great political and moral challenge for us Guineans.”
The Speaker of the Gambian parliament, Abdoulie Bojang, said the visit was to thank the Gambian people and the government for their unflinching support during Guinea Bissau’s political transition period as well as their indispensable contribution towards enhancing the return to constitutional normality.
“Over the years however, there has been positive interaction between the two nations with the aim of strengthening bilateral relationship and cooperation. The Gambia and Guinea Bissau are one and their citizens are same people divided by the colonialists. The Gambia is a sister country to Guinea Bissau and the relationship between the two countries dated before colonial period.
“This was manifested during the liberation war of Guinea Bissau from 1963 to 1974 when many prominent Gambians fought alongside Bissau Guineans; people like the late Yafaye Camara who later became the vice president and the late Ansoumane Mane, the former chief of defence staff. This war culminated in the independence of Guinea Bissau in 1974 with The Gambia being the first country to declare itself a friend of Guinea Bissau at the United Nations.”
“At the bilateral level, Guinea Bissau and The Gambia have established bilateral cooperation in many areas with both countries continuing to be members of Ecowas, the Pan-African Parliament (PAP), the African Union and the United Nations. Against this backdrop, the government of The Gambia and Guinea Bissau on 25 May 1991 signed a treaty of friendship and cooperation between the two countries. This was cemented further by signing on 13 June 2008 an agreement in the area of maritime fisheries.”
Meanwhile, as part of Speaker Cassama’s visit a memorandum of understanding on joint parliamentary friendship was signed by the two speakers.
The Guinea Bissau delegation also visited the new National Assembly complex, where the contractor took the delegation on a conducted tour of the facilities. Speaker Bojang also hosted a lunch at Paradise Suites Hotel for the visiting Guineans.]]>