By Sainey M.K. Marenah, Shout-Africa.com Gambia Bureau Chief in Banjul – The Government of the Gambia Monday issued a statement saying it has agreed with the Transitional National Council of Libya to establish full diplomatic relations, four months after it announced that it was recognizing the rebel Transitional National Council as the only legitimate body representing Libyan interests.
A statement issued by the ministry of Foreign Affairs, International Relations and Gambians Abroad in Banjul read on GRTS informed representatives of international organizations operating in The Gambia and the general public that further to the granting of recognition to the transition national council of Libya in Benghazi as the legitimate representative of the Libyan people, the Government has taken a decision to established full diplomatic relations with the Transition National Council of Libya.
“A full and functional diplomatic mission will be established in Benghazi with immediate effect, and the Transitional National Council of Libya will in the same vein reciprocate accordingly,” the statement said.
According to the statement, “the Government of the Republic of the Gambia and the Transitional National Council of Libya has agreed to engage in full bilateral relations of friendship, brotherhood and cooperation with a view to enhancing closer ties between the people of The Gambia and Libya, and to work closely together for the mutual benefit of the two peoples”.
It would be recalled that the Government of the Gambia announced in April this year that it was recognizing the rebel Transitional National Council of Libya, and ordered all staff of the Libyan Embassy in Banjul representing Maummar Gaddafi’s government to leave the country within 72 hours.
Then, the Gambia government said, the move was taken “on account of the heinous atrocities that are being carried out by the Gaddafi regime against innocent citizens, and which have seen to date massive loss of life and wanton destruction of properties in Libya”.