Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken.
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados--Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken met virtually with foreign ministers from the Caribbean Community CARICOM member states on Wednesday to demonstrate the United States’ commitment to working with all countries in the region to advance bilateral and regional interests. Foreign ministers from Antigua & Barbuda, the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, the Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Haiti, St. Lucia, St. Kitts & Nevis, Suriname, and Trinidad & Tobago participated in the event, along with the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs of St. Vincent & the Grenadines.
Secretary Blinken emphasised the strong partnership between the United States and the Caribbean, plans to manage the COVID-19 pandemic and promote a regional economic recovery, cooperation on increasing climate resilience, and continued collaborations on strengthening security, democratic values and human rights.
At the meeting’s opening, CARICOM Secretary General Ambassador Irwin LaRocque said, “This meeting is significant, as it marks the resumption of interaction between CARICOM as a Region and the US at this high level. I recall that meetings at this level were a regular feature of our relationship.”
He added, “The Member States of the Caribbean Community attach great value to the strong and enduring bonds of friendship between CARICOM and the United States. A spirit of cooperation has characterised our relationship, and it has been underpinned by collaboration on a range of issues, which include trade and investment, security, health, energy, disaster management and climate change.
“However, there are issues which we need to address as partners, such as blacklisting, correspondent banking, and access to concessional financing based on vulnerability, especially in this very challenging period for our Region with COVID-19 and its economic impact, La Soufrière volcano which has impacted St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and the upcoming hurricane season.” ~ US Embassy in Bridgetown, Barbados/CARICOM ~