His Excellency President Adama Barrow Monday commissioned the new Gambia Embassy and Ambassador’s residence at the Diplomatic Quarters in Riyadh, The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The facilities are the first diplomatic compounds built abroad by The Gambia Government. The ceremony was graced by Mr Ahmed Kattan, Minister of State for African Affairs, and several other foreign diplomats signifying the decades long strong ties between The Gambia and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
In his address, President Barrow expressed gratitude to The Custodian of The Two Holy Mosques, King Salman Bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud, and His Royal Highness, Prince Mohammed Bin Salman Bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud, for the invitation at such a critical time during the COVID-19 pandemic. He thanked The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman Bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud, for allocating the land to The Gambia since 1989, in accordance with the Kingdom's directive that all diplomatic missions relocate to a safer and congenial environment.
“I convey profound gratitude to him and The Crown Prince for the support they rendered through their competent officials for working closely with our Embassy Staff to accomplish this project successfully,” said President Barrow.
H.E. Barrow expressed his happiness in the government of The Gambia's commitment to completely fund the construction of the beautiful edifice, which would provide a pleasant and secure office and residence for the Embassy and the Ambassador, respectively.
“Even though it took seven years to complete the project, it is a more sustainable arrangement and a model that could save the country annual rent payments of up to one hundred thousand US Dollars ($100,000). Indeed, it was worth investing over four million US Dollars to own this magnificent building and its furniture.’’ He observed.
While urging the structure to be maintained, the President encouraged the Ministry of Finance to follow suit and build other diplomatic offices and houses in countries where The Gambia has landed property, such as in Senegal, Sierra Leone, and Nigeria.
The Gambian Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, H.E. Omar Gibril Sallah gave a detailed brief on the complex and its facilities, the processes involved in hiring the contractor as well as the monitoring and supervisory visits by the teams from the Ministry of Transport, Works and Infrastructure. The vividly excited Diplomat, taking the President on tour of the complex, expressed pride in being the host during the historic inauguration of the first constructed Gambian Embassy and Residence complex Abroad, with modern technology.
In his vote of thanks, the Contractor, Mr Majid Showlag, thanked the Gambia Government for the contract adding he was proud to be part of the history of providing a safe and secured modern complex in the Diplomatic Quarters.
The inauguration ceremony moderated by the Deputy Ambassador at the Mission in Riyadh, H.E. Dr Abubacarr Jah, was followed by a conducted tour and reception with the invited guests.