I just spoke with the new President of The Gambia, Adama Barrow, to congratulate him on his investiture this afternoon. I wished him every success for his mandate in full respect of the free will of the Gambian people expressed in the peaceful presidential elections on 1 December 2016.
The former President, Yahya Jammeh, has so far not responded positively to sustained efforts by ECOWAS, which is showing real leadership in the process, and the African Union and the United Nations. I urge him to reconsider his position and to respect the will of the Gambian people.
The coming weeks and months will be important to ensure a smooth transfer of power. The European Union is committed to supporting this process and is looking into all available instruments at its disposal. The EU stands ready to step up support to The Gambia in line with the priorities of the new government in view of encouraging democracy, the respect of human rights and the rule of law, as well as supporting sustainable and inclusive development.
I am looking forward to fully engaging with President Barrow and moving the EU-Gambia relations into a new era.