The French Ambassador was at State House to discuss with the Gambian leader an array of issues including strengthening of bilateral ties between Banjul and Paris, whilst the two envoys conveyed messages to him from their heads of states.
Speaking to reporters, shortly after his audience with President Jammeh, Ambassador Ruffin told them that he had the opportunity to discuss with the president international politics, the Gambia-European Union cooperation, amongst a host of issues. The French diplomat disclosed that he had unveiled to the Gambian leader their new innovation of processing French visas for Gambians in the country, without being their obliged to process them in Senegal.
Describing this move as a significant step, Ambassador Ruffin further revealed that the initiative will kick-off very soon. The French Ambassador also spoke at length about President Sarkozy's foreign policy towards Africa, maintaining that it is aimed at promoting legal and economic immigration.
"We don't want to encourage immigration of people who want to leave their country without any prospective. Our common interest is to provide the opportunity for Africans to participate in the development of their various countries and to encourage those who want to study in our country for the purpose of participating in the development of their countries," he noted.
His Excellency Alexandra Cece Lowa, Foreign Minister of Guinea Conakry, and a special envoy of President Musa Dadis Camara, told reporters that he was at State House to convey a message to the Gambian leader over the political situation in his country. "I was sent to him to explain the reason behind the situation in my country. Our intention is to explain to all heads of state that the situation is not [that] bad in Guinea, and that we are trying to come to a normal situation. Although we are suspended from both the African Union and the regional body of ECOWAS, we have to let them know about the real situation in Guinea,'' the Guinean envoy noted.
While noting that the Gambian leader knows his country more well than any of the other African heads of States, the Guinean diplomat told reporters that President Jammeh had given them much advice on how to handle the situation in Guinea, in preparations for the general elections. Indicating that Camara's administration is working on how and when to hold the general elections, the Guinean envoy was quick to note that holding general elections in his country depends on the citizens themselves.
Also speaking to reporters, shortly after his audience with President Jammeh, the Burundian envoy, His Excellency Cherif Aidara, revealed that he had conveyed a message of friendship and brotherhood from his president, Pierre Nkurunzeza, to the Gambian leader. According to the Burundian envoy, he also conveyed a message to Professor Jammeh regarding the possible visit of his president to the country. He noted that proposed state visit will be geared towards strengthening the fruitful bilateral ties between Banjul and Bujumbura.
He went on to reveal further that part of their discussion also centred on some unstable situations in the Great Lake region of Central Africa. "You may know that the Gambian leader is involved in anything that touches any African country. I am personally impressed about the president's knowledge of the situation in our region. The Gambian leader is someone who has great ambition for Africa," he observed.
President Nkurunzeza's envoy then expressed hope that his leader's visit to the country will give the two leaders the opportunity to elaborate more on the situation in the Great Lake region and how to put hands together for the betterment of the two nations.
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