Antigua and Barbuda is now home to a new Dominican Republic (DR) embassy which was formally opened over the weekend.
On Saturday, Foreign Affairs, Immigration and Trade Minister EP Chet Greene welcomed his counterpart from the Dominican Republic, Miguel Vargas – and his visiting delegation – to Antigua and Barbuda.
Vargas participated in a brief ceremony at the Office of the Prime Minister on Sunday marking the signing of several agreements between the two countries for the Dominican Republic Embassy in Antigua, which is located at Jasmine Court on Friars Hill Road.
According to a press release, Greene shared the sentiment that “the decision by the government of the Dominican Republic to proceed with plans to construct an embassy and residential quarters in Antigua at the invitation of the Antigua and Barbuda government is testimony of the strong ties that exist between the two Caribbean nations.”
Similarly, the visiting foreign minister stated “that he looks forward to deepening ties between the two nations, especially with the opening of the embassy in St. John’s,” the release stated.
Vargas also noted that natural disasters are something the Caribbean states must face from time to time and he said the DR is keen to have further talks with Antigua and Barbuda in this area.
Moreover, Greene said, “The opening of the embassy is a step forward for Antigua and Barbuda and the Dominican Republic who share ties of geography and history, noting that today a significant number of Dominican Republic nationals reside in Antigua and Barbuda.”
He further noted that, since the 1920s, Antiguans migrated to the DR to work in the sugar plantations and many have remained there.”
Greene disclosed that his grandfather was one of those who journeyed to the DR and today he has discovered members of his family living in the Spanish-speaking country.
Greene also mentioned that Antigua and Barbuda would have interest in the DR’s well-developed institute to train diplomats which he learned of on his visit in May. This, he said would help “to produce a cadre of young, trained diplomats to man the diplomatic services.”
The ceremony was witnessed by officials from the two governments, including Prime Minister Gaston Browne. Greene and Vargas signed an air services agreement to facilitate greater travel between the two countries as well as a Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation in Risk Management and Disasters.