The ambassador of France to The Gambia has attributed the decision by his government to close 10 embassies in West Africa due to economic reasons, saying their mission in The Gambia is unfortunately among those recommended to cease operations. France is to close its Embassy in Banjul effective 1st November 2013as part of a worldwide adaptation of its diplomatic networks and to adapt to the times and finances.
Apart from The Gambia, other countries affected are Sierra Leone, Malawi and Sao Tome; However Senegal has not been one of the countries affected. His Excellency Jean Marc Transon affirmed that the move is entirely “an internal affair and not based on any negativity about The Gambia”. He however commended The Gambia government for the hospitality accorded him during his three-year spell in the country, during which time he tried to strengthen the Banjul-Paris ties.
Vice President Aja Dr. Isatou Njie-Saidy has thanked the French government through Ambassador Transon for its working relationship with The Gambia in the past years. She pointed out the establishment of the Alliance Franco Gambian, which has given opportunities for many Gambians to learn French as a mark of the ties that exist between the two countries.
Yann Pradeau, deputy chief of mission at the French Embassy in Dakar, will now be the man in charge of French-Gambia relations.