(JollofNews) – The Gambia and Iran have agreed to rekindle their friendship following a bitter fallout between the previous regimes of Presidents Yahya Jammeh and Ahmadi-nejad.
The decision to deepen ties between Banjul and Tehran follows a series of talks between the Gambia’s deputy speaker of the National Assembly, Momodou Sanneh and senior Iranian officials including Foreign Minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif
Mr Sanneh was in Tehran to attend the swearing-in ceremony of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.
According to the official Farsi Newspaper , the Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif said during the meeting that: “The Islamic Republic of Iran is ready to start a new chapter of cooperation with Gambia in different agricultural, hygiene and technological fields, building power plants and fighting against extremism and terrorism.”
The Iranian minister of Agriculture, Jihad Minister Mahmoud Hojjati said that Iran is fully ready to cooperate with Gambia in the fields of research, education and agricultural machinery.
“Iran with diverse climatic conditions has successful experience in the field of producing all types of crops,” Hojjati said in a meeting with Sanneh in Tehran.
Describing Gambia as a rich country in terms of water resources, Hojjati said that in addition to enjoying enough water resources and fertile soil as well as suitable climate to raise tropical crops with high global demand, Gambia has the potential for aquatic farming.
“Iran faces shortage of water, but it makes great attempts to produce food of 80 million Iranians independently,” Hojjati said recalling Iran’s self-sufficiency in producing wheat.
For his part, Mr Sanneh, underscored the necessity for increased cooperation with Iran, and said there are good grounds for the two countries’ cooperation in agricultural, technological and hygiene sectors as well as investment in economic infrastructure.
He added that the Gambia is a country with enough water and soil, but it needs mechanization of agriculture and procuring fertilizers to boost production and maintain fertility of its soil.
Hailing Iran’s progress in agriculture in recent years, Gambian official expressed the hope that the two countries’ agricultural cooperation would further improve in future.
In November 2010, the former Gambian regime of Yahya Jammeh severed ties with Iran and gave Iranian diplomats in the country 48 hours to leave the West African nation.
The government also cancelled all aid projects Iran had under construction in the Gambia following the interception of a shipment of arms in Nigeria destined for Gambia.