Hanna also concerned about exclusions from Pompeo meeting

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Hanna also concerned about exclusions from Pompeo meeting

Monday, January 20, 2020

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — Opposition spokesperson on Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Lisa Hanna says it is “indecipherable” that the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) as a bloc appears to be sidelined, as only a select group has been invited to attend an important meeting with United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo this week.

Pompeo is scheduled for a two-day working visit in Jamaica, which begins tomorrow.

Yesterday Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley warned that Pompeo's visit was an attempt to divide the 15-member CARICOM grouping.

“In these circumstances, it would have been clearly expected that the entire regional leadership would be served well by such talks, especially at this crucial time when as small developing nations climate change, the illegal gun trade, drug and human trafficking, organised crime and USA trade sanctions affect us all. We, therefore, share the concerns expressed Prime Minister Mottley about the exclusion of other countries to the meeting,” Hanna said.

She emphasised that Jamaica must be resolute in preserving the traditional principles on which the country has relied for decades in forging and maintaining solid diplomatic relationships internationally.

Hanna cautioned Prime Minister Andrew Holness to assert his voice of leadership in defence and promotion of the previously coordinated CARICOM decisions taken on Venezuela and not deviate from them.

“We must not follow like lemmings, but display the fortitude of those before us who have made Jamaica and Jamaicans symbols of international integrity and purveyors of the importance of the adherence to international norms. Jamaica is a respected leader in CARICOM and nothing we do should send the slightest message that we are prepared to sacrifice our CARICOM brothers and sisters on the altar of expediency. We are stronger together,” Hanna explained.

“We await full public disclosure of the issues to be raised in what is an important meeting,” she added.

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