PRESS RELEASE 223
Spain provides Gambia with support to fight illegal human trafficking
18/12/2020
The State Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Ibero-America and the Caribbean, Cristina Gallach, has just completed her trip to Gambia, which served to step up bilateral cooperation at a political and economic level, on sustainable development and on security matters. The two countries also strengthened existing ties on migration and in the fight against illegal people trafficking networks.

In order to assist in this task, Cristina Gallach announced the Spain will donate material, for the sum of 400,000 euros, to the Gambian authorities to enhance their resources to fight illegal migration.

Cristina Gallach, during an intense two-day visit to Banjul, observed, in her meetings, that cooperation with the Gambian authorities has traditionally been exemplary, due, among other factors, to the Framework Agreement on collaboration on migration, signed between the two countries back in 2006.

In this regard, the State secretary had the opportunity to visit the Guardia Civil vessel ‘Poseidón’, which provides technical assistance to the Gambian Navy. The experience served to see first-hand the extraordinary work of the Guardia Civil in the country, and to offer her support and recognition for the work they have been performing in the area. Similarly, the Spanish National Police regularly collaborate with the Gambian police authorities to help strengthen their capacities, exchange information and assist them in fighting illegal immigration.

The visit, which coincides with International Migrants Day, also served to clearly show the strategic nature of Sub-Saharan Africa for Spain, as reflected in the 3rd Africa Plan, and to offer continuity to the latest trips made by the Minister for Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation, Arancha González Laya, to other countries in the region; specifically to Niger and Chad (7-10 October), Mali and Burkina Faso (22-24 October) and Senegal (21 and 22 November).

During her stay in Gambia, the State secretary met with the Minister for Foreign Affairs, International Cooperation and Gambians Abroad, Mamodou Tangara; the Minister for Home Affairs, Yankuba Sonko, and the Minister for Defence, Sheikh Omar Faye.

She was also received by the Vice-President of the Republic of Gambia, Isatou Touray, an acknowledged international feminist activist in fighting female genital mutilation, to whom the State secretary conveyed the gratitude of the Government of Spain for the good level of collaboration that prevails between the two countries. She also passed this message on to the other officials with whom she held several meetings on her visit.

All these meetings served to congratulate Gambia on its exemplary transition process and on the introduction of legal reforms and policies applied since the investiture of the Government of President Barrow. In fact, foreign investment in the country has significantly increased as a result of these changes.

Cristina Gallach also held a working dinner with the main Spanish companies that operate in the country to assess their situation and reiterate the support of the Government of Spain. She also met with Spanish NGOs that are working in Gambia, to offer support for their work and highlight Spain’s commitment to the development of this country.

-NON OFFICIAL TRANSLATION-

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