Caricom seeks to strengthen ties with the US

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The Heads of Government within the Caricom member states will most likely be acting on a recommendation from the Council of Ministers to push to strengthen ties with the United States (US).
The suggestion was made during a just-concluded meeting of the council as they welcomed the passing of US-Caribbean Strategic Engagement Act (HR 4939).
Antigua & Barbuda’s Ambassador to Caricom, Dr Clarence Henry said that the region hopes to form closer ties with the US during President-Elect Donald Trump’s upcoming term.
 “In terms of the principles that will form the basis of our ongoing relations, especially into president-elect Donald Trump’s term in office, we recommended for the consideration of the heads, at their intersessional next month, that the community’s approach and the representatives would need to be proactive and ensure that the community speaks with one voice underlining its internal solidarity and unity,” Dr Henry stated in an OBSERVER media interview.
He also outlined the recommendations put forward to the Caricom Heads.
“These could include the following measures: The establishment of common Caricom positions on the various issues that inform the Caricom-US agenda in order to maximise the leverage of the community; underlining the interests that the community and the US share; a safe and more secure region in the hemisphere; social and political stability that results in sustainable development; poverty and social justice; and establish new channels of communication through the US administration,” he said.
The members have commended passing of US-Caribbean Strategic Engagement Act and are ready to begin talks immediately, he said.
“We recognise that this Act is both timely and significant, and commend both Houses of Congress and the US Administration for this proactive and collaborative approach to engagement with the Caribbean region. We believe that the multi-year strategy mandated by this Act will engender increased interaction between the Caribbean and the United States, especially in the areas of security, trade, economic development, energy, education and diaspora engagement. We are keen to urgently advance dialogue on the specific interests of the Caribbean region.”
The 39th Meeting of the Council of Ministers of Caricom Member States was held January 9 -10 in Georgetown, Guyana.

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