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Statement by Commonwealth Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma on The Gambia

4 October 2013

I have this evening received with regret the advice that an Executive decision has been taken by the Government of the Republic of The Gambia to withdraw from the Commonwealth with effect from 3 October 2013.

This separation from the people of The Gambia is a disappointment for the Commonwealth family at large.

I recall with appreciation the warmth with which I was received when I visited Banjul last year. An extensive programme of collaboration and partnership was agreed to support The Gambia’s social and political progress as well as the advancement of the fundamental values of democracy, development and respect for diversity to which all member governments of the modern Commonwealth subscribe. Many Commonwealth citizens – old and young – will similarly have positive recollections and connections dating back over The Gambia’s longstanding membership, since it joined our association in 1965.  

We look forward to The Gambia’s return to the Commonwealth.