First EU ambassador arrives in Gambia on new mission

Source:Xinhua Published: 2016-2-24 13:16:59

The first European Union ambassador to the Gambia, Attila Lajos, has arrived in Banjul to take up his new post, official sources said Tuesday.

Lajos, the first EU resident ambassador to Gambia, has presented his credential to Isatou Njie-Saidy, Gambia's first vice president and minister of women's affairs.

"I am honored to be the first EU Ambassador to the Gambia, and I hope to enhance the long-standing bilateral cooperation between the EU and the Gambia during my tenure as an EU representative in this country," Lajos said.

He added that he will listen to the "real needs of the Gambian people" and work closely with the government and the people here.

The EU is the largest donor to Gambia via the European Development Fund or the bilateral assistance provided by the EU member states.

The Gambian government has been the partner in implementing EU funded projects and programs, which have enhanced the socio-economic development and improved people's life of the West African nation.

In 2014, the EU cut aid to Gambia and withdrew millions of euros of funding because of the Gambia's poor human rights record.

According to EU officials, 13 million euros of aid has been blocked due to the lack of progress in areas of human rights, including the recent introduction of a tough law against homosexuality.

Posted in: Africa

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