Jamaica to establish diplomatic relations with countries in Africa, Pacific Island

JAMAICA is to establish diplomatic relations with two countries in Africa as well as a number of Pacific Island states.

These are the Republic of Liberia and the Togolese Republic in Africa, and the Republic of Kiribat, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Republic of Palau, the Independent State of Samoa, and the Kingdoms of Tonga and Tuvalu.

Speaking at Wednesday’s post-Cabinet press briefing, Minister of Education, Youth and Information Fayval Williams said it was important for Jamaica to diversify its bilateral partnerships “as a means of broadening the scope of engagement and the pursuit of opportunities for increased trade, investment and political collaboration as well as technical and economic cooperation”.

She noted that the African states represent a ready pool of countries with which Jamaica can explore such cooperation.

“The establishment of diplomatic relations with Liberia and Togo is in keeping with the policy objective of Jamaica to develop greater and more meaningful engagement with African countries to provide increased opportunities for economic, technical, and cultural cooperation and the pursuit of trade and commercial benefits,” the minister said.

As it relates to the Pacific Island states, she noted that the pursuit of diplomatic relations with these countries will “cement Jamaica’s strategic plans to establish a greater presence in and intensify relations with small island developing states (SIDS) of the Pacific”.

“It will also provide opportunities for the diversification of Jamaica’s bilateral economic, technical and cultural cooperation portfolio given the shared similarities and challenges in population, climate and socio-political structures,” she said.Williams said that there is scope for cooperation in multiple areas, including environment, health, hazard mitigation, disaster resilience, education, agriculture and fisheries.

“The formalisation of relations with these countries will serve to deepen the bonds of friendship and cooperation in the political and technical fields,” she added.

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