The official two-day visit by the President of the Republic of Senegal, Macky Sall, and his delegation has been described as a productive and engaging “pilgrimage”.
That’s what President Sall said during a welcome reception held in his honour at Ilaro Court last evening.
He shared that Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley extended an invitation some time ago and recently insisted that he visit the island, which is just six hours away by direct flight.
“I must say that I’m not regretting the fact that she insisted and brought me here. This is a pilgrimage for me. It’s a pilgrimage for all the members of my delegation. It’s the pilgrimage for all the daughters and sons of Africa who are still on the mainland. And I can assure you that we will keep doing whatever we can to make sure that we develop this relation and forge strong ties between our nations,” President Sall said.
The president did not explain the significance to him of Barbados as a religious destination. According to Wikipedia Sall is a Muslim. He supports religious freedom and has met Pope Francis.
Sall opposes jihad and “excessive forms of Islam” and supports “tolerant Islam”.
Arriving in the evening on Tuesday, January 30, President Sall and Senegalese officials engaged in several activities on Wednesday, January 31, and Thursday, February 1.
These activities included a visit to State House to meet the President of Barbados, Her Excellency, The Most Honourable Dame Sandra Mason; a courtesy call with the Prime Minister of Barbados, Mia Amor Mottley; participation in a bilateral meeting and business forum; a tree planting ceremony at the National Botanical Gardens; and a scenic tour that ended at the Hill Crest Community Centre, in Bathsheba, St. Joseph.
President Sall and his delegation departed Barbados this morning, following a Barbados Coast Guard 48 contingent Guard-of-Honour and the playing of the national anthems of both countries by the Barbados Police Service Band.
On hand to bid the Senegalese President farewell were Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Kerrie Symmonds; Minister with responsibility for Economic Affairs and Investment, Senator Chad Blackman; Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Joy-Ann Skinner; Charge d’Affaires, High Commission of Barbados at Accra, Ghana, Juliette Babb-Riley; and other government officials.
It is not clear exactly what the purpose of the visit was, but on Sall’s arrival Minister Symmonds told reporters the two sides will be seeking to deepen ties in key areas including culture and connectivity.
He also mentioned that Barbados will be drawing on Senegal’s expertise in the management of scarce water resources.
Barbados established diplomatic ties with the Republic of Senegal on March 18, 1976.
Source: Barbados Government Information Service.