Gambia’s Foreign Minister Ousainou Darboe on Thursday met with diplomats accredited to the West African country that escaped a violent end to a political standoff.
Darboe seeks to reopen the peanut exporting nation for global commerce and strengthening its relations with other countries.
Gambia’s former President Yahya Jammeh has a twisted and unreliable foreign policy, making relations with Gambia’s key development partners bitter.
Jammeh has severed ties with many countries and expelled many foreign diplomats, including U.S., UK, and EU envoys, declaring them persona non-grata.
Jammeh’s withdrawal of the Gambia from the ICC and the Commonwealth did not help with the Gambia’s battered international image. Banjul and Washington have gone for years without ambassadors.
The EU announced it will be releasing more than €33 million in funds to the Barrow administration. The funds were withheld due to deteriorating rights conditions under Jammeh’s regime.
The international community has been called upon by the United Nations to financially assist the country after Jammeh fled the country with at least US$12 million and leaving the state treasury empty.
With severed relations with the West, Jammeh turned to the Ghadaffi and Middle Eastern and Gulf nations, including Iran as a source of funding. He named the Gambia an Islamic Republic, tried to be closer to the Kremlin and supported communist China in the South China sea dispute.
Barrow has promised to return the Gambia to a formal policy of non-alignment, which had been followed through out President Sir Dawda Jawara’s tenure and maintain close relations with neighboring Senegal, which has played a pivotal role in pushing Jammeh out of the country.