President Adama Barrow on Sunday wrapped up his official engagements in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia with discussions with a number of high-profile personalities on different areas of cooperation between the Kingdom and The Gambia. These include opportunities in trade and investment, security, justice and job creation opportunities.
A statement from State House further reported that the president commended the Saudi leaders from King Salman to Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, for the hospitality accorded to him and his delegation during the hosting of two important summits, the Saudi-Africa, and OIC extraordinary meetings on Palestine.
President Barrow assured the Saudi authorities of The Gambia’s support and cooperation, emphasising the values attached to their relationship.
He cited areas to advance the socio-economic advancement of The Gambia, as well as opening up investment opportunities for Saudi citizens in The Gambia. The President thanked the Saudi Government for funding the OIC projects in The Gambia, which he described as “life-changing projects that will impact the lives of Gambians for many years beyond the hosting of the OIC summit.”
The Saudi Minister of Interior, Prince Abdul-Aziz Bin Saud Al-Saud, described The Gambia as a ‘friendly country important to the Kingdom’. The prince commended President Barrow for the positive achievements for The Gambia and Gambians and assured him of the support of the Crown Prince in strengthening their cooperation in security matters to create a safe environment for all.
On economic cooperation, the Saudi Minister of Finance, Mohammed Al Jaadan, highlighted commerce and investment opportunities, stating the Kingdom’s reforms to support partners in strategic and substantial projects.
Meanwhile, the Saudi Minister of Justice,
Sheikh Dr. Walid bin Muhammad Al-Samaani, said he was grateful that his Ministry signed an MOU with its counterpart in The Gambia. He said his Ministry is committed to supporting The Gambia’s justice system and the rule of law.
The Justice Minister also reiterated the importance King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman attach to the Saudi relationship with Africa.
Additionally, the Minister of Human Resources and Social Development, Ahmed bin Suleiman Al-Rajhi, informed President Barrow that Saudi had taken important steps for reforms in the labour market to protect the interests of foreign nationals.
As The Gambia prepares to host the next OIC Summit, the Secretary General of OIC Hussein Brahim Taha, expressed satisfaction with the state of affairs for the Gambia hosting the next OIC Summit. He thanked President Barrow for the honour accorded to him and his team while assuring the president of their full support for a successful summit in The Gambia.
On humanitarian support to the Gambia, President Barrow received a delegation from the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center led by its CEO, Dr Abdullah Al-Rabiah and the CEO of Al-Balsam International Organisation, Emad Bukhari, and their delegations. Both organisations collaborate with the First Lady Fatoumatta Bah-Barrow Foundation – FaBB to complement the government’s social projects to improve the lives of Gambians, including providing health care services for vulnerable people. They reiterated their commitment to sustain the partnership with FaBB.
After a series of audiences, President Barrow ended his engagements with a conducted tour of Al Bujari Terrace in Diriya – The Earth City in Riyadh, where the Kingdom of Saudi originates. The Diriya is being preserved and maintained with its historic folklore lifestyle of the Saudi heritage. It is classified as a UNESCO World Heritage site worth visiting.
President Barrow and the delegation performed umrah on Monday before returning to Banjul.