Foreign relations of the Gambia

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The Gambia followed a formal policy of non-alignment throughout most of former President Dawda Jawara's tenure. It maintained close relations with the United Kingdom, Senegal, and other African countries. The July 1994 coup strained the Gambia's relationship with Western powers, particularly the United States. Since 1995, President Yahya Jammeh has established diplomatic relations with several additional countries, including Libya, the Republic of China (on Taiwan, before 2013), and Cuba.

The Gambia plays an active role in international affairs, especially West African and Islamic affairs, although its representation abroad is limited. As a member of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the Gambia has played an active role in that organization's efforts to resolve the Liberian Civil War and contributed troops to the community's cease-fire monitoring group (ECOMOG). It also has sought to mediate disputes in nearby Guinea-Bissau and the neighbouring Casamance region of Senegal.

The People's Republic of China, Cuba, Libya, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America have embassies or high commissions in the Gambia.

On 25 May 2005, the Gambia announced its readiness to establish full diplomatic relations with the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. The Gambia did not do so, however, citing international opinion.

In November 2010, the Gambia severed all diplomatic ties with Iran following the seizure of a suspicious arms shipment in Nigeria.

During the early months of the Libyan Civil War, the Gambia became the first African state to recognize the National Transitional Council as the sole legitimate representative of Libya.

Bilateral relations[edit]

Country Formal Relations Began Notes
 Argentina 15 January 1980

Both countries established diplomatic relations on January 15, 1980.[1]

 Armenia 9 October 2018

Both countries established diplomatic relations on 9 October, 2018.[2]


A business delegation led by Minister of Trade, Industry, Regional Integration and Employment Abdoulie Jobe visited Bangladesh in December 2014.[3]

 China 17 March 2016 See China–Gambia relations

China and Gambia reestablished diplomatic relations on 17 March 2016.

 Croatia 16 October 1998

Both countries established diplomatic relations on October 16, 1998.[4][5]

 Cyprus 8 December 2000

Both countries established diplomatic relations on December 8, 2000.[6]

 Dominica 26 July 2012

Both countries established diplomatic relations on 26 July 2012.[7]

 Georgia 21 April 2010

Both countries established diplomatic relations on April 21, 2010.[8]

 Israel September 1992

Both countries established diplomatic relations in September 1992.[12]

 Latvia 12 March 1998

Both countries established diplomatic relations on March 12, 1998.[13]

 Lithuania 17 February 2000

Both countries established diplomatic relations on February 17, 2000.[14]


Both countries have a Memorandum on Migration Matters.[15]

 Malaysia See Malaysia–The Gambia relations

Malaysian embassy in Dakar is accredited to The Gambia while Gambian embassy in Abu Dhabi is accredited to Malaysia. The relations are friendly warm.[16]

 Mexico 15 August 1975
  • Gambia does not have an accreditation to Mexico.
  • Mexico is accredited to Gambia from its embassy in Accra, Ghana.[17]
 Montenegro 16 August 2012

Both countries established diplomatic relations on August 16, 2012.[18]

 Romania 30 July 1971

Both countries established diplomatic relations on July 30, 1971.[19]

 Russia 17 July 1965 See The Gambia–Russia relations

Both countries have established diplomatic relations on 17 July 1965. Diplomatic relations were later established once again after the breakup of the Soviet Union. The Gambia has an embassy in Moscow. Russia is represented in the Gambia through its embassy in Dakar (Senegal).

 Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 2 March 2009

Both countries established diplomatic relations on March 2, 2009.[20]

 Serbia 1965

Both countries established diplomatic relations in 1965.[21]

 South Korea 21 April 1965

Diplomatic relations between the Republic of Korea and the Gambia were formally established on April 21, 1965. As of 2011, there were 24 South Koreans living in Gambia.[22]

 Taiwan 1968 See Gambia–Taiwan relations

The Gambia firstly established diplomatic relation with the Republic of China (Taiwan) in 1968, three years after Gambia gained its independence from the United Kingdom.[23] In 1974, Gambia switched diplomatic relation from ROC to the People's Republic of China, but switched again back to ROC in 1995. In December 2006, the Premier of the Republic of China (Taiwan) completed an official visit to the Gambia in part to pay respects to President Jammeh's inaugural ceremony and to donate funds for medical purposes. The Gambian Secretary of State reciprocated with an official visit to Taiwan. There have been several occasional official visits between the two countries. The People's Republic of China cut ties with the Gambia in 1995 after the latter established diplomatic links with the Republic of China (Taiwan). After 18 years, however, Gambian President Yahya Jammeh announced the breaking of diplomatic ties with ROC to recognize PRC on 14 November 2013 citing national strategic interest, immediately even after receiving 6.6 million USD worth of aid from the Republic of China (Taiwan) earlier. The ROC officially terminated its ties with Gambia four days later on 18 November 2013.[24] In an unprecedented move, however, the PRC did not respond to Gambia´s offer to establish diplomatic relations, presumably because of its desire to improve relations with Taiwan.[24] The PRC and Gambia reestablished diplomatic relations on 17 March 2016.

 Turkey 1965

Both countries established diplomatic relations in 1965.[25]

 United Kingdom

An 1889 agreement with France established the present boundaries. The Gambia became a British Crown Colony, British Gambia, divided for administrative purposes into the colony (city of Banjul and the surrounding area) and the protectorate (remainder of the territory). The Gambia received its own executive and legislative councils in 1901 and gradually progressed toward self-government. It passed a 1906 ordinance abolishing slavery.

During World War II, Gambian troops fought with the Allies in Burma. Banjul served as an air stop for the U.S. Army Air Corps and a port of call for Allied naval convoys. U. S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt stopped overnight in Banjul en route to and from the Casablanca Conference in 1943, marking the first visit to the African continent by a sitting American president.

After World War II, the pace of constitutional reform increased. Following general elections in 1962, the United Kingdom granted full internal self-governance in the following year. The Gambia achieved independence on 18 February 1965, as a constitutional monarchy within the Commonwealth of Nations.

 United States See Gambia–United States relations

U.S. policy seeks to build improved relations with the Gambia on the basis of historical ties, mutual respect, democratic rule, human rights, and adherence to UN resolutions on counterterrorism, conflict diamonds, and other forms of trafficking. In accordance with U.S. law, most direct bilateral development and military assistance to the Gambia was suspended because of the 1994 coup d'état. U.S. assistance continues, however, in the form of food aid administered through Catholic Relief Services, support for democracy and human rights projects, and the financing of girls' secondary education. In addition, the Peace Corps maintains a large program with about eighty volunteers engaged in the environment, public health, and education sectors, mainly at the village level.

The Gambia is also a member of the International Criminal Court with a Bilateral Immunity Agreement of protection for the US-military (as covered under Article 98).

The Gambia and the Commonwealth of Nations[edit]

The Gambia was a member of the Commonwealth of Nations from its independence in 1965 until its withdrawal in October 2013.[26]

After presidential elections in 2016, the winning candidate Adama Barrow promised to return The Gambia to the Commonwealth.[27] On 14 February 2017, The Gambia began the process of returning and formally presented its application to re-join to Secretary-General Patricia Scotland on 22 January 2018.[28][29] Boris Johnson, who became the first British Foreign Secretary to visit The Gambia since the country gained independence in 1965,[30] announced that the British government welcomed The Gambia's return to the Commonwealth.[30] The Gambia rejoined on 8 February 2018.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Biblioteca Digital de Tratados". Retrieved 2018-12-30.
  2. ^ "Diplomatic relations established between Armenia and The Gambia". Retrieved 30 December 2018.
  3. ^ "Gambia seeks guidance from Bangladesh". 4 December 2014. Retrieved 28 September 2017.
  4. ^ "MVEP • Date of Recognition and Establishment of Diplomatic Relations". Retrieved 30 December 2018.
  5. ^ "MVEP • Overview of Bilateral Treaties of the Republic of Croatia by Country". Retrieved 30 December 2018.
  6. ^ (in Greek)$file/List%20of%20Gambia.pdf?openelement
  7. ^ "Gambia, Dominica establish diplomatic ties: foreign ministry - Global Times". Retrieved 30 December 2018.
  8. ^ "საქართველოს საგარეო საქმეთა სამინისტრო - გამბიის რესპუბლიკა". Retrieved 30 December 2018.
  9. ^ "MEA - Indian Missions Abroad - Indian Mission". Retrieved 2 January 2017.
  10. ^ "Consulate General of India in Banjul, Gambia". Retrieved 2 January 2017.
  11. ^ "Embassy of Gambia in India". Retrieved 2 January 2017.
  12. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-04-20. Retrieved 2014-07-28.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  13. ^ Lobzova, Liene. "Establishment and renewal of diplomatic relations". Retrieved 30 December 2018.
  14. ^ [1]
  15. ^ "Sorry. The page you are looking for does not exist". Retrieved 30 December 2018.
  16. ^ "Presentation of Letters of Credence". State House of the Gambia. 7 April 2004. Archived from the original on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 17 February 2015.
  17. ^ "Ghana". Retrieved 30 December 2018.
  18. ^ "Tabela priznanja i uspostavljanja diplomatskih odnosa". Retrieved 30 December 2018.
  19. ^ "Diplomatic Relations of Romania - Ministry of Foreign Affairs". Retrieved 30 December 2018.
  20. ^ "Ministry of Foreign Affairs, International Trade, and Regional Integration - Ministry of Foreign Affairs, International Trade, and Regional Integration". Retrieved 30 December 2018.
  21. ^ "Gambia". Retrieved 30 December 2018.
  22. ^ Korea, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Republic of. "Countries and Regions > Middle East and Africa > List of the Countries". Retrieved 2 January 2017.
  23. ^ Jeng, Amat (1 May 2018). "GAMBIA'S FOREIGN POLICY: THE GRADUAL SHIFT TOWARD CHINA AND THE GULF". Retrieved 30 December 2018 – via ResearchGate.
  24. ^ a b Diplomat, Jessica Drun, The. "China-Taiwan Diplomatic Truce Holds Despite Gambia". Retrieved 2 January 2017.
  25. ^ "From Rep. of Turkey Ministry of Foreign Affairs". Republic of Turkey Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Retrieved 30 December 2018.
  26. ^ "UK regrets The Gambia's withdrawal from Commonwealth". 3 October 2013. Retrieved 2 January 2017 – via
  27. ^ Maclean, Ruth (10 December 2016). "Gambian president-elect vows to return country to Commonwealth". The Guardian. Retrieved 20 January 2017.
  28. ^ "The Gambia: UK 'very pleased' about Commonwealth return". BBC.
  29. ^ "The Gambia presents formal application to re-join the Commonwealth" (Media Release). The Commonwealth. 23 January 2018. Retrieved 24 January 2018.
  30. ^ a b Boris Johnson is only delighted the Gambia wants back into the British Commonwealth. (15 February 2017)