The Caribbean countries and the United Kingdom agree on a cooperation mechanism to strengthen relations

Saint John, May 19th. The United Kingdom and the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) have agreed to establish a mechanism for consultation and cooperation to enhance bilateral and regional relations and trade.

According to a CARICOM statement issued on Friday, the agreement seeks to “deepen the level of mutual understanding and build on common values.”

The so-called “mechanism” was hammered out during the eleventh UK-Caribbean Forum, held the previous day in Jamaica in the presence of the British Foreign Secretary, James Cleverley, and his CARICOM counterparts.

Many of the fifteen members of CARICOM are former British colonies, some of whom expressed their intention to sever their ties with the British Crown and sought financial compensation from the United Kingdom for slavery.

Among them is Jamaica, whose foreign minister, Kamina Johnson, said the “value and strength of these links (with the UK) are undeniable” and she hoped the issue of restorative justice would be addressed.

For his part, Cleverly called during the forum to “make the most of those long-standing relationships by working at the bilateral, regional and multilateral levels.”

They agreed with the “mechanism” to enhance consultations on bilateral, regional and international issues of common interest, as well as promote expansion and diversification of trade and investment flows on the basis of existing agreements.

The need to coordinate policies against climate change was also addressed during the forum; cooperate in improving access to finance for small island developing states; and enhancing cooperation in the field of regional security and governance.

According to the statement, foreign ministers are committed to holding meetings at the level of senior officials at least once a year.

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“The participants will work together to ensure that the commitments are collectively implemented in the spirit of deepening and strengthening the bonds between UK members and CARICOM members,” she added.

CARICOM members are Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, The Bahamas, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Montserrat, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago. EFE


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