Jamaica and Trinidad PMs meet to discuss critical issues
KINGSTON - Jamaican prime minister, Andrew Holness, said a bilateral meeting with prime minister of Trinidad and Tobago, Dr Keith Rowley, on Monday, has led to a deeper understanding of critical issues between the two countries.
Making a brief statement following the meeting, Holness said he and Rowley have developed a good friendship and understanding.
The Trinidadian prime minister, in turn, declared the meeting a productive one, noting that a foundation has been laid for further discussion and work in other areas.
Follow-up discussions will be conducted throughout the rest of Rowley’s official visit, after which a more in-depth statement will be made in a press conference on Thursday.
Minister of foreign affairs and foreign trade, Kamina Johnson Smith, said the brief meeting between the prime ministers set a tone of strong cooperation, deepening friendships and expanded partnerships.
“It was made quite clear that both prime ministers had the common objective of ensuring that at the end of this sitting, our bilateral relations would be strengthened and that our commitment to resolving the issues which have arisen between the countries would be resolved or mechanisms would have been agreed to have them resolved,” she explained in a statement delivered at the press conference.
She said implementation of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) regime was a substantial part of discussions at the bilateral meeting, which she said will lead to further talks on trade relations between the two countries.
Among other issues explored were the implementation of the Shanique Myrie ruling, the matter of air and sea transportation and cooperation in respect of culture, film, fashion and the creative industries.
Rowley is scheduled to meet with the chairman of Jamaica’s CARICOM/CARIFORUM Review Commission, Bruce Golding; as well as pay a courtesy call on the leader of the opposition, Portia Simpson Miller, and the vice chancellor, University of the West Indies (UWI), Professor Sir Hilary Beckles.
Additionally, he will engage heads of private-sector organisations and entities in discussions on trade and business development issues.
Rowley will also address the 22nd Session of the General Assembly of the International Seabed Authority at the Jamaica Conference Centre.
By Denise Dennis