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President Jammeh attends OIC summit in Dakar, Senegal

Posted by African Press International on March 19, 2008

mohamed-legally-cole.jpg<FromMohammed Legally-Cole)

President Yahya. A.J.J. Jammeh alongside a high-power delegation as part of his entourage departed from the Banjul International Airport on Thursday 13th March 2008 for the 11th Summit of the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC). The conference took place in Dakar, Senegal from March 13 and 14th.

President Jammeh was seen off at the Banjul International Airport by Dr Haja Isatou Njie-Saidy, the vice president and secretary of state for Womens Affairs, the speaker of the National Assembly, Hon Fatoumatta Jahumpa Ceesay, secretaries of state, security chiefs, members of the diplomatic corps, amongst others.

The 11th Summit of OIC, to focus on the theme “Islam in the 21st Century”, as the event is significant due to the current events and challenges facing the Muslim Ummah including the issue of Palestine, Lebanon, Iraq, Somalia, and Darfur. The issue of Islamophobia has high priority on the agenda whereupon the first report on Islamophobia by the OIC Islamophobia Observatory will be released. Also of priority is the Special Development Programme for Africa and raising intra-OIC trade among the Member States from 13% to 20% by 2015 in accordance with the OIC Ten-year Programme of Action.

It could be recalled that Crispin Grey-Johnson, Secretary of state for Foreign Affairs, who arrived in
Dakar on Sunday March 2nd, 2008 on day visit as the Presidents special envoy, confirmed the Gambian leaders participation in the summit. SOS Grey-Johnson met with Senegals president, Maitre Abdoulaye Wade, at his Avenue Roume Presidential Palace in Dakar shortly after his arrival in the Senegalese capital. President Wade formally welcomed president Jammehs envoy, witnessed by his Foreign Minister Cheikh Tidiane Gadio.After his audience with President Wade, SOS Grey-Johnson said he conveyed a special message from President Jammeh to President Wade. The message is an expression of friendship and brotherhood for the people of the two countries, SOS Johnson said.

He further confirmed President Jammehs participation in theIOC summit.
His Excellency Dr Alhaji Yahya AJJ Jammeh has assured his Senegalese counterpart of hisintended participation. President Jammeh will attend this summit of the Islamic Ummah from the beginning to the end. In fact, President Abdoulaye Wade has asked me to tell President Jammeh that he wishes that Jammeh should arrive first in Dakar before all other leaders of the Ummah. Wade wants Jammeh to be by his side when he welcomes all his guests at Dakars airport, SoS Grey-Johnson explained.

According to release monitored from Dakar, the Senegalese officials announced that about 40 heads of state were to participate in the 11th OIC meeting. The OIC has 57 member countries and five others with observer status.

Abdoulaye Bald, the Executive Director of ANOCI, the agency that covers all the preparations for the summit, revealed that King Abdallah of
Saudi Arabia will also be in Dakar. “About 18 generals of the kings entourage are already in Senegal
to prepare his Majestys stay in our country,” Bald revealed. Since her decision to host the 11th OIC Summit, Senegal has seen the launching of what has been described as the Great Projects (launched by President Wade) to rebuild its roads, hotels and enhance electricity and other infrastructural facilities to beautify its capital city. Similarly Senegalese security has been boosted to ensure a successful OIC meeting.

It could also be recalled that Senegal had previously hosted the OIC Summit in 1991, which saw the participation of 36 heads of state.

Published by API

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