Rahul Sharma (Editor)

Foreign relations of the Gambia

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Foreign relations of the Gambia

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.


Gambia firstly established diplomatic relation with China in 1968 to the Republic of China (Taiwan), 3 years after gaining their independence from the United Kingdom. In 1974, Gambia switched diplomatic relation from ROC to PRC, 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. 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. The PRC and Gambia reestablished diplomatic relations on 17 March 2016.


Both countries established diplomatic relations on 26 July 2012.


  • India has Honorary Consulate in Banjul.
  • Gambia maintains High Commission in New Delhi.
  • Malaysia

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


    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).

    South Korea

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

    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

    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

    The Gambia was a member of the Commonwealth of Nations from its independence in 1965 as a Commonwealth realm until 1970, then as a Commonwealth republic until its withdrawal in October 2013.

    Adama Barrow has promised to return The Gambia to its membership of the Commonwealth.

    The Gambia has begun the process of returning to its membership of the Commonwealth with the support of the British Government, especially from Boris Johnson.


    Foreign relations of the Gambia Wikipedia