Thursday, 10 January 2013 15:55(JollofNews) – The opposition Gambia Moral Congress Party (GMC) has today welcomed the decision of the European Union to hold consultations with the Government of Yahya Jammeh as part of an on-going Article 8 political dialogue under the Cotonou Agreement.
In a letter to the media, the party’s leader, Mai Ahmad Fatty wrote: “This is a very significant component of cooperation on three essential elements of human rights, democratic principles and the rule of law. Regular dialogue between the Gambia and the EU as our most important development partner, shall promote the consistency and relevance of our cooperation strategies, and render it possible to address all issues of mutual interest.
I wish to assure the delegation of our very solid commitment to cordial, effective and mutually fruitful bilateral ties between the EU and the Gambia. GMC strongly supports this process as one of the most effective mechanisms through which both sides could exercise useful opportunity in evaluating the progress made, as provided for in the Agreement, in accordance with the modalities detailed under Annexe VII.
As a country that often touts its democratic credentials, the Gambia government has great opportunity to demonstrate the commitment it has undertaken with regards to the practical implementation of the ‘essential elements’ of the Agreement.
Within this context, I take important note of the fact that the Agreement is first and foremost a partnership, and therefore both sides must fundamentally fulfil their principal obligations, and are further required by the protocol to make all relevant considerations in relation to Articles 8, 9 and 96. It is not only important to commit to the dialogue, most fundamentally, commitment should lead to action and practical implementation of the essential elements, with visible impact on the internal political processes, and circumstances.
This structured dialogue should also lead to greater transparency in the commitments undertaken on the intermediate objectives, in direct relation to their practical execution as regards the existing Gambian political environment or atmosphere.
I take this opportunity to encourage the Gambian civil society to utilise the participatory opportunities under the general provisions, which aims to promote their involvement within the context of the partnership.
Gambians and the community citizens of the EU are looking forward to tangible outcomes of the current dialogue vis-a-vis statutory benchmarks contained in Articles 8, 9 and 96. I assure the delegation that our citizens who matter most, shall lose total faith in both the process and the Agreement itself, if the outcome of the present dialogue cannot produce visible material impact on the ground concerning the essential elements, and required considerations.
While inviting the delegation to enjoy the natural beauty of our country, the world-class Gambian hospitality, our splendid beaches, nature and resorts, I wish you frank and fruitful talks centered on the essential elements. I also wish both sides a successful New Year!!”
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