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Statement on The Gambia re-joining the Commonwealth

14 February 2017
Statement by: Commonwealth Secretariat spokesperson

A Commonwealth Secretariat spokesperson has said the organisation welcomes any effort by the newly elected government of The Gambia to re-apply for membership of the Commonwealth.

The West African country withdrew from the Commonwealth, a voluntary association of more than 50 independent and sovereign states, under former leader Yahya Jammeh in 2013.

The spokesperson said, "We welcome any effort being made by the newly democratically elected government of The Gambia to try to re-join the Commonwealth. Should it decide to apply, we have formal processes which have to be undertaken and membership agreed by the 52 heads of government.

"When The Gambia left the Commonwealth in 2013, the heads of government, meeting in Colombo in Sri Lanka that year, noted its decision with regret. We looked forward to the country’s eventual return because it was part of our very close knit family and our doors have always remained open."

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