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OIC Banjul summit on right footing

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By Lamin Cham

Government and OIC Gambia officials yesterday reported a smooth progress in the ongoing 15th OIC summit climaxing on Saturday with the meeting of the heads of state and leaders.

Addressing a press conference, Yankuba Dibba, the CEO of OIC Gambia said matters are proceeding well with all 57 member countries represented at the preparatory senior officials and ministerial meetings ahead of the weekend’s summit of leaders.

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“All the logistical arrangements from protocol to accommodations, feeding and transportation have been working to expectations.  In catering for example, we have gone beyond the tradition to provide food for every delegate that arrived in The Gambia.  The senior officials meeting went well into the night to lay grounds for the ministerial meeting and subsequently the heads of state meeting,” Mr Dibba told assembled media.

He said while it may be premature to give confirmations on the number of heads of state attending, about 40 VIPs and VVIPs are expected to come including heads of state. “As we still have a day or two to go, the figure could increase or reduce,” Dibba said.

The head of brand, Nfally Fadera, disclosed that the initial feedback from international officials is that The Gambia has exceeded expectations in the arrangements and organisation of the event. He said the nature of security protocols has made it hard to disclose the identity and movement of heads of state coming, adding that the picture would be clearer in the next few days.

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He assured journalists that none of the delegates would be lodged outside The Gambia as there is enough standard accommodation for all delegates.

The minister of information, Dr Ismaila Ceesay, added that the offer of Senegal to accommodate flights of delegates does not attract any cost to the country.

The press conference was chaired by Lassana Tunkara, head of media committee for the summit.

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