Published On: Thu, Feb 7th, 2013

St Kitts-Nevis and Canada to strengthen relations

BASSETERRE, St Kitts (CUOPM) – St Kitts and Nevis and Canada pledged on Tuesday to strengthen the already good relationship between the two Commonwealth countries.

“St Kitts and Nevis has always cherished its profound relationship with Canada. Canada has been a friend to St Kitts and Nevis and I want you to be aware that St Kitts and Nevis stands ready to continue to work with Canada on matters of our hemispheric nature of International nature as well,” said Prime Minister Denzil Douglas as he greeted Canada’s new High Commissioner to the twin-island Federation, Richard Hanley.

Douglas, who accepted the letter of credence, pointed to the assistance Canada has given to St Kitts and Nevis over the years, especially in critical times of challenge.

“We had a serious crime situation here and Canada stepped forward to assist us. In the area of education, Canada has been there for us and in so many different areas that we have relied upon Canada for not only supporting the development of our people, but as a friend and as a partner in the region generally,” said the St Kitts and Nevis leader.

The new Canadian diplomat, who is based in Barbados, said Canada has a “deep and abiding relationship” with St Kitts and Nevis.

“We have warm and friendly ties and these include economic, political, cultural and more importantly, people ties with Canada and St Kitts and Nevis; and so we want to make sure that we keep that productive relationship going and it’s so important for Canada, as you have met and talked with (Canada’s) Prime Minister Stephen Harper in your years as prime minister,” said Hanley.

He recalled that Canada’s work at the High Commission and in the Eastern Caribbean region is based on the America’s Strategy which he (Harper) announced in the Caribbean.

“You probably remembered that in 2007 that Canada’s objectives in that sense are to promote economic opportunity which benefits the region and benefits Canada; is to improve security in the region, democracy and government’s rule of law. All those are things we want to support and finally to encourage people to people ties – engagement -- business links between Canada and St Kitts and Nevis and people to people ties and education links which are so important,” Hanley said.

He told Douglas his job as Canada’s high commissioner to St Kitts and Nevis “is to make sure we keep that productive relationship going and do the best we can to make it all work.”

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