Delegates to the fourth session of the joint commission between the Islamic Republic of Mauritania and the republic of The Gambia last Tuesday convened at the Kairaba Beach Hotel, where they discussed and adopted a strong communique agreeing on pertinent issues. Key among the issues is the co-operation in the area of extradition and joint criminal investigations.
The session, which is intended to give delegates the opportunity to review the set of concrete actions realised in the application of decisions taken during the last session held in Nouakchott from 22nd to 24th January 2001 as well as make necessary amendments in the area of trade, education, energy, tourism, youth, sport, culture, fisheries, transport, among others.
In a five-page communique issued following a day long deliberation by delegates of the two countries, The Gambia and Mauritania agreed to take the necessary measures for the full implementation of the trade agreement signed in 2001. The communique is hereunder reproduced verbatim:
JOINT COMMUNIQUE ON THE 4TH SESSION OF THE MAURITANO-GAMBIAN JOINT MINISTERIAL COMMISSION HELD IN BANJUL ON 12TH FEBRUARY 2008
Under the instructions of the two Heads of State, His Excellency Alhaji Dr. Yahya A. J. J. Jammeh, President of the Republic of The Gambia, and His Excellency Sidi Mohamed OuId Cheikh Abdallahi, President of the Islamic Republic of Mauritania, the 4th session of the Joint Ministerial Commission between the Republic of The Gambia and the Islamic Republic of Mauritania was convened on 11th February 2008.
The Gambian delegation was led by Hon. Crispin Grey-Johnson, Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs while the Mauritanian delegation was headed by His Excellency Mohamed Saleck OuId Mohamed Lemine, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Co-operation of the Islamic Republic of Mauritania.
The list of members of the two delegations is attached in annex 1.
During his stay in The Gambia His Excellency Mohamed Saleck Ould Mohamed Lemine, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of the Islamic Republic of Mauritania was received in audience by Her Excellency Ajaratou Dr. Isatou Njie-Saidy, Vice President of The Republic of The Gambia.
The discussions were held in an atmosphere of friendship and cordial relationship.
The two delegations discussed issues of mutual concern in following main areas:
The Gambian side and the Mauritanian side agreed to take the necessary measures for the full implementation of the trade agreement signed in 2001.
The Gambian side expressed the wish to acquire basalt, butane gas and livestock from Mauritania. The Mauritanian side agreed to provide the required quantities of these items to The Gambia depending on the levels of their strategic reserves and requested that the Gambian side indicate at its earliest convenience, the quantity and quality of its needs. As for the supply of livestock, the Gambian side was requested to indicate the level and the frequency of its requirements. The Gambian side extended an invitation to the Mauritanian side to take part in a Tripartite Meeting on re -export trade between The Gambia, Senegal and Mali to be held in Banjul in March 2008. The Mauritanian side also accepted a proposal by the Gambian side to participate in Trade Fairs organized by the Chambers of Commerce of both countries. The two sides agreed to take action on the issues discussed on trade within a period of one month.
The two sides agreed to establish cooperation between the Universities in Mauritania and The Gambia in various fields of study and research. With regards to the offer of scholarships by the Mauritanian side, the Gambian side was urged to make known its scholarship needs for deserving Gambian candidates. The Mauritanian side also accepted the request by the Gambian side for a plot of land to be allocated for the construction of an English school for the children of the Gambian community in Mauritania, which can later be extended as a Gambian cultural center. The Mauritanian side also expressed its desire to be provided with English language teachers from The Gambia for secondary schools in Mauritania.
In the area of energy, the Mauritanian side agreed to share its experience with the Gambian side in the form of training programmes on:
ÿ safety Handling and Management of LPG Gas;
ÿ development and implementation of renewable energy projects especially in the area of bio- fuels;
ÿ professional training on the exploration, development and management of petroleum resources.
ÿ development and implementation of offshore and onshore petroleum exploration projects in The Gambia.
In the area of Tourism, the Gambian side agreed to the request from the Mauritanian side for the provision of training on Tourism and Hotel Management. The Gambian side also agreed to a request from the Mauritanian side to develop joint venture activities between tour operators on both sides. The Mauritanian side promised to submit a draft proposal agreement in this area within a period of one month.
YOUTH, SPORTS AND CULTURE.
In the area of Youth, Sports and Culture, both sides agreed to ask their respective departments to establish exchange programmes in various youth, sports and cultural activities within a period of two months aimed at the mutual development of these sectors in both countries.
In the area of Fisheries, the two sides agreed to take the necessary measures for the implementation of the agreement signed between the two countries in March 2006.
In the area of Transport, the Gambian side promised to submit a draft agreement for the consideration of the Mauritanian side. The two sides agreed to commence activities in the areas of road, maritime and air transport within a period of two months.
SOCIAL SECURITY AND HOUSING FINANCE.
In the area of Social Security, the two sides decided to take the necessary measures for the implementation of the agreement signed in March 2006. With regards to the housing sector, the two sides agreed to establish cooperation in the construction industry particularly, in housing and estate development.
In the area of Justice, the Gambian side raised the issue of possible cooperation in the area of extradition and joint criminal investigation.