Gambia denies severing ties with Qatar

Gambia denies severing ties with Qatar

Gambia says it has not cut diplomatic relations with the Gulf nation of Qatar following the lessening of ties by other African nations with the Middle Eastern country.

SMBC reported on Thursday that the West African nation followed in the footsteps of Senegal, South Africa, and Mauritania just months before Gambia reopens its embassy in Doha.

Saikou Ceesay, the spokesperson for Gambia’s Foreign Affairs Ministry said the report is false and urged the Gulf states to find a lasting solution.

“As we speak, our relationship with the Gulf state of Qatar is intact and we hope they find a lasting solution to the crisis,” Ceesay said.

Gambia’s Foreign Secretary Ousainou Darboe was in Qatar to woo investors to the West African state following the defeat of ex-ruler, Yahya Jammeh, who had lesser relations with Qatar.

The Gambia announced new incentives for investors, including tax cuts and exemptions. A treaty to avoid double taxation between Banjul and Doha is still in place, a good first sign for investors.

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Egypt sparked the diplomatic crisis by accusing Qatar of funding terrorist organizations, withdrawing their ambassadors and imposing trade and travel bans.

Qatar has denied the allegations saying it supported the United States in the War on Terror and the ongoing military intervention against ISIL.

Washington and Doha have signed an agreement for the purchase of F-15 fighter jets with an initial cost of $12 billion amid the tension.

Two US Navy vessels arrived in Doha Thursday to take part in a joint military exercise with the Qatari Emiri Navy.

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