“We take nothing personal against anyone” President Barrow tells reinstated Ambassadors

By Kebba Jeffang

The President of the Republic, Mr. Adama Barrow told the visiting Gambian ambassadors on Tuesday, February 21, to remain committed in pursuing the interest of the country as his government is ready to work with them since they hold nothing personal against anyone.

The 21 serving ambassadors in foreign countries were rewarded with reinstatement for their influencing role during the political impasse that saw about 50,000 people fled the country in January by pressurising the former president Yahya Jammeh to relinquish power following his denial of acceptance which cost their diplomacy jobs.

“We come here as a government not to have anything personal against anybody. The government has changed but the Gambia has to continue working and you Ambassadors are part of that. All of you were appointed by APRC under Jammeh’s government but it is not personal but principle because you are Gambians and you have the right to work under the any government, said Barrow.”

President Barrow said all the ambassadors are welcome to the new Gambia after 22years of APRC rule adding that Gambia has finally changed from a dictatorship to democratic rule.

He expressed gladness over the democratic process in which everyone has played a part to off Jammeh’s administration. He said the image of the country at the time was destroyed but the ambassadors abroad started restoring it around the world.

“Government will encourage the ambassadors to continue doing their good job for as they have been doing for the past years, urging them to work even harder since the Gambia is a young democracy that requires all hands on deck so that the country will move forward,” said the president.

He said the country has come out of a very difficult time and the Gambia government becomes a complete liability and isolated when they should have benefited a lot. He said this could not materialized because the previous government was not respecting democratic principles.

“Some of the ambassadors took the bull by the horn and called on Jammeh to step down even though it was a risky move because they don’t know what will be the next move of the government,” he concluded.

Mr. Ousainou Darboe, Minister of Foreign Affairs, International Cooperation and Gambians Abroad said the courtesy call to President Barrow is useful because it will help him to familiarize himself with the ambassadors.

He said the constitutional responsibility of shaping and implementing foreign policy of the country rest clearly on the shoulders of the president and the rest of them are delegated to function within that foreign policy.

“It is therefore very important that the President knows and familiarize himself with those ambassadors who are entrusted with responsibilities of implementing Gambia’s foreign policy because they are the ones representing Gambians abroad. Each ambassador here is the personification of Gambia within the regions they are accredited to,” said Darboe.

“We expect that each of them carry the Gambia in the manner that the President himself does as he personifies the Gambia so you also do exactly that because you are the faces of the Gambia. It is through you that the Gambia expresses itself in the various countries and organizations which we are accredited to because we are in the process of formalizing the foreign policy,” he said

Mr. Dembo Badjie, Dean of Gambian diplomats and ambassador to the Peoples’ Republic of China speaking on behalf of his colleagues assured their full cooperation with the government. He also assured their commitment in building the positive image of the country.