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Jackson: Releasing American prisoners good for Gambia

Sept. 17, 2012: The Rev. Jesse Jackson meets with Gambian President Yayha JammehCourtesy Butch Wing, Rainbow PUSH Coalition

The Rev. Jesse Jackson says the president of Gambia's decision to release two American prisoners is good for the financial development of the West African country.  

"When there's a sense of justice and stability, it makes a country more investment-attractive," Jackson told Fox News after meeting Monday with President Ahyah Jemmah.

During their meeting, Jemmah agreed to release into Jackson's custody two Gambian-Americans serving prison time for treason.

"This opens up a dialogues to accentuate positive developments here, expand tolerance and make room for many voices, including the voice of opposition," Jackson said.  

Prior to their meeting, Jackson visited a newly built market place in the Waterfront Tourist Area in Banjul. The Gambia's economy is heavily fueled by the tourism industry.

A shopkeeper told Fox News she is glad President Jemmah changed his mind about plans to execute everyone on Gambia's death row, saying it is in the best interest of her country's reputation and her livelihood.

"Tourism is everything," she said. "Without tourists, I have nothing."

Jackson is promising his continued interest in The Gambia.

"This country has so much potential for growth that we are glad to, in some measure, push the process along. Rainbow PUSH intends to remain involved to help this country realize it's highest investment potential," Jackson, referring to his nonprofit organization.

Jackson will escort the two prisoners out of the country Tuesday night. They are scheduled to arrive in New York on Wednesday, and each plans to settle again in the United States.