The Government of the Republic of The Gambia has followed with keen interest and concern the recent dispute between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Canada; two countries that have long standing friendly relations between their respective countries and peoples. This dispute, unfortunately is steadily escalating and may lead to unforeseen consequences and The Gambia cannot standby without making its position clear on this matter for an amicable resolution to be achieved in the interest of these two countries.
The Government of The Gambia as a member of the African Union (AU), Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), and the Commonwealth of Nations is guided by the following fundamental principles in the conduct of its foreign policy:
• Self determination of states
• Non-interference in the internal affairs of sovereign states
• Non violence and peaceful settlement of disputes
• Promotion and protection of democracy and human rights
In view of the above fundamental principles, the Government of The Gambia would like to categorically state that in order to enhance smooth relations between states, the principle of non- interference in the internal affairs of states which is enshrined in the Charters of
the United Nations, African Union, Organisation of Islamic Cooperation and other international organisations should be strictly adhered to, respected and enforced by all sovereign states. The Gambia fully subscribes and respects this cardinal principle without which the conduct of friendly relations between states would be unsustainable.
In addition to this basic principle in the conduct of international relations between states, The Gambia also adheres strictly to the promotion and protection of human rights irrespective of gender, sect, religion and other affiliations. In this context, it exhorts all sovereign states to promote and protect human rights and place it as a priority in all its policy objectives.
Cognizant of the above stated principles, The Gambia as a friendly partner to both the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Canada urges both countries to strengthen efforts to bring about speedy resolution to this dispute in order to restore normalcy in the friendly relations that characterised their relationship and to build upon it for their mutual benefit.