Dawda Fadera, Gambia’s chief envoy to Washington has presented his letter of credence to the contentious U.S. President Donald Trump at the Oval Office, just two weeks after Trump called African countries “shithole.”
Fadera was the Secretary General and Head of Civil Service [the equivalent of White House Chief of Staff] to President Adama Barrow, also a real estate developer, who surprisingly defeated Gambia’s longtime dictator, Yahya Jammeh in December 2016.
Fadera avoided discussing Trump’s vulgar comments with him while at the White House. He instead focused on keeping a cozy relationship with the U.S. after years of strained ties under ex-President Yahya Jammeh.
Fadera thanked the Trump administration for sanctioning Jammeh and restricting U.S. citizens from doing business with the ex-strongman. The U.S. Department of Treasury seized Jammeh’s assets for corruption and human rights abuses.
According to the Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Ambassador Fadera applauded the decision of the US Treasury Department to sanction the former Gambian dictator and one of his enablers for abuse of office and financial impropriety.
Fadera was also thanked Trump for his administration’s recent decision to admit The Gambia into its threshold programme of the Millennium Challenge Corporation, after a decade-long suspension.
The Gambia is among the African nations that expressed dismay at Trump’s calling of African nations “shithole country,” demanding an apology. Trump has refused to apologize, partially denying he made the condescending remark during a meeting in the Oval Office.