Ambassador Lang Yabou, the permanent secretary at the ministry of foreign affairs has told the Expert Session of the recently held Third Senegalo-Gambia Presidential Council meeting that as implementers of agreements signed between the two countries, their actions should always match their pronouncements.
The Expert Session is one of the three segments of the Presidential Council meeting and the issues discussed by experts feed into the Ministerial Council as well as the final outcome documents and agreements of the Council.
According to him, the challenges confronting the two nations are mutual and ‘we must act and confront them collectively and squarely to enable us realise our shared aspirations for achieving a peaceful, developed and prosperous Senegambia”.
“Consistent with our mutual desire and collective commitment to peace, shared prosperity, shared values of adherence to international law, democracy, good neighbourliness and friendly relations, the two countries have a lot to offer the people of Senegambia and Africa in general. Therefore as we discuss the identified issues of common interest and concern, we must always be guided by the facts and realities surrounding our relationship as Senegambians, particularly, the strong bonds that bind us together. The bonds of geography, history, having more similarities than differences, and strong socio-cultural ties including, the existence of a strong nexus between achieving sustainable peace, security and development should galvanise us to aim for the sky,” he said.
According to him the integration envisaged by both Ecowas and AU, to a large extent, can only be realised if Senegal and The Gambia take thoughtful practical steps to achieve integration.
“The vision of the two countries’ leaders towards achieving the desired goals in the relations is well defined since the establishment of the Presidential Council in 2018. What is left is for the experts managing the relationship to turn their vision into reality for the mutual benefit of our two countries and people. We must take concrete steps to align our actions with the development needs and aspirations of the two countries by ensuring that our businesses, transporters, border authorities, officials and people have the enabling operational environment to freely engage and carry out business without difficulties,” he said.