Russia and Gambia hold security talks
Russia and the Gambia have held talks on issues in the Sahara-Sahel region, addressing security concerns in Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, and Chad, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov announced during a press conference on Tuesday.
Lavrov, after talks with Gambian Foreign Minister Mamadou Tangara, expressed Russia’s concerns about the rising terrorist threat from jihadist militias, emphasizing how their impact is spreading across West Africa.
“Russia is ready to contribute to the stabilization of the Sahara-Sahel and other parts of the African continent,” he added.
In a joint statement on Sunday, military leaders in Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger declared their decision to withdraw from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). The three were responding to growing pressure and sanctions from the 15-member organization, which is pushing for swift transitions to democratic rule.
The economic group had earlier voiced its disapproval of the military authorities in the three states, vowing to prevent further coups in the region.
“As for the ECOWAS, we hope that the problems that have arisen in the relations between the ECOWAS members can be resolved through equal, mutually respectful dialogue,” Sergey Lavrov said.
Russia and the Gambia solidified their diplomatic ties by signing a memorandum on inter-Ministry of Foreign Affairs consultations, as reported by TASS.
Lavrov revealed that Russian representatives would serve as observers at the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) summit scheduled for May in Banjul, the Gambia.