President Yahya Jammeh returned to Banjul from a state visit to Saudi Arabia, the first meeting at the level of a state visit between the countries in 20 years, and declared the outcome of the visit “fruitful” with a certainty of benefit for the Gambian people.

He detailed: “I don’t want say its fruitful now, because we have not started implementing what we agreed; it will become fruitful when the objective of the visit becomes manifest in the livelihood of Gambians, and in terms of infrastructure.”

He contrasted this particular trip to Saudi Arabia with other official visits, and asserted that when his people could see projects done, beyond the present promises of what will be done, that “every Gambian would be grateful to Saudi Arabia.”

As he landed in Banjul, Jammeh told reporters that they were warmly welcomed in Riyadh, and told that they were in their second home, noting: “This was unprecedented, and so I can assure you that Gambians will stand to benefit from this visit.”

With regards to the private sector, he commented that “a lot more work needed to be done, but the groundwork has been done already.” Information was a key missing element for the Saudi private sector, Jammeh said, and now information has been provided and further exchanges planned.

“So there is going to be a lot of activity, interaction between the Gambian private sector and the Saudi private sector,” Jammeh continued, adding that the future was bright and the visit could be compared to a recent successful visit to Turkey where promises were also made and kept.