RIYADH: Gambian President Adama Barrow and his accompanying delegation arrived in Riyadh on Sunday on the latest stage of their visit to Saudi Arabia. They were received at King Khalid International Airport by Riyadh Gov. Prince Faisal bin Bandar bin Abdul Aziz.
Earlier on Sunday, Barrow held talks with Yousef Al-Othaimeen, secretary-general of the Organization of the Islamic Cooperation (OIC), where he assured him that The Gambia is “on track” to host the next summit in 2022.
“The president also affirmed his dedication to the OIC’s commitment to combatting terrorism and extremism,” the Gambian presidency said in a statement.
Following the meeting, Al-Othaimeen said their discussions focused on peace, security, and the Muslim nation’s anti-terrorism position, and praised the president and the Gambian government for their efforts in ensuring the summit’s success, the statement added.
The president also met with the CEO of the Saudi Fund for Development (SFD), Sultan Abdulrahman Al-Marshad, to discuss aspects of cooperation between the fund and the Gambian government, especially the development projects financed by SFD and which contribute to achieving sustainable development in the African country.
Barrow arrived in the Kingdom on Wednesday and visited the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah. The next day, the president went to Makkah to perform Umrah at the Grand Mosque.
During his stay in Makkah, Barrow met the president of the Islamic Development Bank (IDB), Dr. Bandar Hajjjar, and discussed relations between the two countries.
The meeting tackled the development cooperation between the IDB and The Gambia in various sectors.
The president expressed sincere thanks to the IDB for its continuous support to his country, noting that the projects of the bank are highly appreciated by the government and the people of The Gambia.
Hajjar was briefed by the Gambian president on the profound impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on all economic and social sectors in The Gambia, especially with regard to the tourism sector.
Hajjar welcomed Barrow in the Kingdom, expressing his hope that The Gambia will soon resume its growth after the outbreak of the coronavirus, stressing that the bank will continue to support the country to achieve the aspirations of the Gambian people.
During his visit to the Saudi capital, the president will inaugurate the new Gambian embassy and ambassador’s residence, in addition to other engagements.