Senegal’s President Bassirou Diomaye Faye Embarks on Second Foreign Diplomatic Visit

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In a continuation of Senegal’s diplomatic tradition, President Bassirou Diomaye Faye, elected on March 24th, has opted to visit Gambia for his second official trip abroad. The significance of this choice lies in Gambia’s unique geographical position, with all its land borders enclosed within Senegal, forging an intrinsic bond between the two nations.

This diplomatic custom of prioritizing immediate neighbors for the initial official visits of newly elected presidents underscores Senegal’s commitment to fostering amicable relations with its closest allies. Notably, in 2012, President Macky Sall similarly honored Gambia with his first foreign diplomatic visit. Now, Bassirou Diomaye Faye reciprocates this gesture by commencing his diplomatic engagements with Gambia following his earlier visit to Mauritania on April 18th.

The profound geographical interconnection between Senegal and Gambia underscores their inherent ties. Gambia’s territorial boundaries entirely nestled within Senegal exemplify this interconnectedness. Moreover, the shared Wolof language and the presence of two crucial bridges spanning the Gambia River—inaugurated in 2019 and 2022—facilitate seamless mobility and connectivity between the two nations.

Beyond geographical proximity, Senegal and Gambia share a robust economic partnership. Gambia stands as one of Senegal’s primary trading partners, accounting for 8.7% of intracommunity exports in 2022. Furthermore, Gambia plays a pivotal role in bolstering security cooperation, particularly concerning the Casamance region. It is anticipated that discussions during President Bassirou Diomaye Faye’s visit will address pertinent issues, including matters about Casamance.

In essence, President Faye’s diplomatic overture to Gambia epitomizes Senegal’s enduring commitment to fostering cordial relations with its neighbors, rooted in geographical, cultural, and economic bonds. This visit underscores the strategic importance of Gambia in Senegal’s regional diplomacy and signifies a continuation of longstanding diplomatic traditions.

Soukaina Sghir

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