The secretary of state for Foreign Affairs and foreign diplomats were, on Tuesday evening, treated to a reception at the Kairaba Beach Hotel by the Libyan ambassador to The Gambia in commemoration of the Al-Fattah Revolution, which saw Col Muammar El-Ghadafi rise to power in 1969.
Ambassador Dr Ali Muhammed Dukaly told the gathering that the Libyan leader has turned his country into a great Jamahiriya, and from retrogression to progress and prosperity.
According to Ambassador Dukaly, Libya was “not at all considered” in the past, as it was listed among those poor countries dependent on aid, until the birth of the revolution.
On the Arab front, the Libyan ambassador said the revolution had strived hard to unite the Arab countries and to unite the big Maghreb Arab, but the inherited cultural and colonial systems had frustrated them.
Ambassador Dukaly described President El-Ghadafi as a “champion leader” who supported the liberation movements across Africa for the attainment of independence and liberty. He added that the Libyan leader has always been at the forefront for the unification of the continent, as demonstrated by his call for one African flag, one national anthem, a single African passport, a united army, an African central bank and foreign policy.
He said it was Ghadafi’s belief that these initiatives will free the continent from the excruciating bondage of retrogression, disease and poverty when they are implemented. According to him, when these dreams are realised, Africa will be connected through a major railway network and a powerful electricity supply system.
Ambassador Dukaly informed the distinguished guests that the celebrations back in Tripoli were remarkable, as the event was graced by kings, Sultans and leaders of ethnic groups from African countries.
He also used the opportunity to pay tribute to President Jammeh. “On this joyous occasion we hail the champion of the 22nd July Gambian Revolution, His Excellency President Dr Alhaji Yahya AJJ Jammeh, who has changed all features of life on this good land and joined The Gambia in the African struggle and has always worked hard to realise progress, enhancement and prosperity,” said Ambassador Dukaly.
For his part, Dr Omar Alieu Touray, the secretary of state for Foreign Affairs, congratulated President El-Ghadafi through Ambassador Dukaly, on behalf of President Jammeh and the entire people of The Gambia, on the 39th anniversary of the revolution.
“Anybody who follows The Gambia’s foreign relations under President Jammeh will appreciate the importance that The Gambia has given to its relation with the Great Libyan Jamahiriya,” SoS Touray said.
He said under Dr Jammeh’s leadership, The Gambia has championed Libya’s cause at the United Nations and other international fora.
SoS Touray recalled that President Jammeh and President El-Ghadafi were among the pioneers of the African Union (AU), culminating into the end of sanctions on Libya.
The Foreign Affairs SoS observed that “if cooperation between the two countries at the international and continental level can produce results, there is absolutely no reason why cooperation between the two countries at bilateral level cannot produce bigger results”.
SoS Touray pointed to Jerma Hotel, Atlantic Hotel and the Libyan sponsored mosques in Serrekunda and Kotu as clear testimony of the potential of the Gambian-Libyan cooperation and then prayed for a stronger relation for the benefit of the two peoples.