Escale du "Commandant Bouan" à Banjul, 27 janvier 2020
Discours prononcé par l’ambassadeur Philippe Lalliot à l’occasion de l’escale du "Commandant Bouan" à Banjul, 27 janvier 2020
Seul le prononcé fait foi.
Mesdames et Messieurs les Ministres,
Mesdames et Messieurs, Chers amis,
I would like to start by thanking you all for being with us tonight aboard this great patrol vessel of the French Navy, the “CDT BOUAN” and by thanking also the Gambian authorities for making this stopover possible and for their hospitality.
I am also grateful to the Captain of the ship, Lieutenant Commander Yann-Eric NOAT, and his crew for welcoming us today on-board.
As you know, it is my very first day in The Gambia as Ambassador of France as I presented this morning my credentials to H.E. President Adama BARROW.
I must say we had a very friendly meeting. He reminded me of the importance of the relationship between our two countries. And indeed France was among the first important international partners to support the “New Gambia” government right from the beginning.
This support has led to the rebuilding of strong political and economic ties, to the reopening of a French Diplomatic Mission in Banjul, to the providing of an important grant by the Agence Française de Developpement, to two budgetary supports to the Gambian government, to the secondement of an officer of the French Gendarmerie to the Office of National Security, to the launching of a wide-scale training program of teachers in the French language in Gambian secondary schools, to name but a few initiatives we have taken in the last three years.
To make a long story short and not inflict upon you the long list of projects that we have for the future, I assured President BARROW of France’s commitment to pursuing by all means our strong partnership.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
During this very busy day, I also had the pleasure of inaugurating this morning, with H.E. the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Mamadou TANGARA, the new premises of the French school, located now within the same space as the Alliance Française.
Early in the afternoon, I also attended the signature of a 16.5 M€ financial convention aimed at supporting NAWEC in the distribution of drinkable water in the Great Banjul Area. It was also an opportunity to meet with the Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs and to discuss with him the next investment opportunities for French companies in The Gambia.
In conclusion, since we are gathered aboard a warship, I would like to underline also our availability to develop further our cooperation with the Gambian Armed Forces, in particular the Gambian Navy.
We all are willing to upgrade the maritime security in the area and make sure maritime roads are safe. This is precisely the mission the CDT BOUAN that will make her way into the Guinea Gulf.
Coming from Toulon, this patrol boat is the perfect illustration of what we want and what we are able to achieve together, in our common interest, in the interest of the people of the region and the international community as a whole.
I hope the crew will have only good memory of this first ever mission of their ship to the Port of Banjul and of the fruitful and friendly exchanges they had with their Gambian colleagues of the Navy during this 3-days stopover.
I thank you for your attention and wish you all a nice evening./.