PM Jacobs visits The Hague, quadripartite meeting today

PM Jacobs visits The Hague,  quadripartite meeting today

Prime Minister Silveria Jacobs (fourth from right) met with the Permanent Committee for Kingdom Relations of the Dutch Second Chamber of Parliament on Wednesday. St. Maarten Minister Plenipotentiary Rene Violenus (third from left) was also present. (Suzanne Koelega photo)


THE HAGUE--St. Maarten Prime Minister (PM) Silveria Jacobs is currently in the Netherlands for a series of meetings. Today, Thursday, she will attend a quadripartite meeting between France, the Netherlands, French St. Martin and Dutch St. Maarten, at which several agreements are to be signed.

The prime minister has been in the Netherlands since Monday. On Monday and Tuesday, she had meetings with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, Dutch Minister of Education, Culture and Science Robbert Dijkgraaf and Minister of Public Health, Welfare and Sport Ernst Kuipers.

In her meeting with Rutte on Monday, multiple ongoing foreign and Kingdom-related topics relevant to St. Maarten were discussed. Topics included the follow-up by the Dutch government on the apology for the slavery past, the vulnerabilities of St. Maarten as a small island developing state (SIDS), the importance of the SIDS agenda in foreign policy, St. Maarten’s economic trajectory in relation to the ongoing negotiations on the COVID-19 loans, as well as the Kingdom Conference scheduled to take place later this year.

On Wednesday, Jacobs had a meeting with the Permanent Committee for Kingdom Relations of the Dutch Second Chamber of Parliament. The meeting took place on the request of the prime minister, to discuss a number of topics that she wanted to inform the Second Chamber on.

Discussed was the follow-up after the apologies for the slavery past that Prime Minister Rutte offered on behalf of the Dutch State on December 19 last year and how St. Maarten is giving content to this matter. Also discussed with the parliamentary committee were the Kingdom Conference at the end of this year and the cooperation within the Kingdom in the area of climate change.

Prime Minister Jacobs told the Committee for Kingdom Relations that a major aspect of her visit is the quadripartite meeting which takes place in The Hague today, Thursday. Attending that meeting will be Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs Wopke Hoekstra, French Minister for Overseas Territories Jean-François Carenco, President of the Collectivité of St. Martin Louis Mussington and Prime Minister Jacobs.

Three agreements are expected to be signed at the quadripartite meeting. A letter of intent will be signed to regulate hot pursuits over water, enabling the St. Maarten Police Force and the Gendarmes to cross maritime borders during a criminal pursuit. Until now only hot pursuits over land are regulated.

A memorandum of understanding (MoU) will be signed to strengthen the police and immigration cooperation between the Dutch and French sides, which includes the sharing of information. An MoU will also be signed in the area of education, whereby schools and sports facilities can be shared.



Prime Ministers Silveria Jacobs of St. Maarten (left) and Mark Rutte of the Netherlands. (St. Maarten government photo)

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