Tuesday, May 03, 2011

PM On Diplomacy

By CMC - Tuesday, May 3rd, 2011.

KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent, CMC – Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves Tuesday defended his administration’s decision to establish diplomatic ties with countries like Taiwan saying that the changing global environment made it imperative for St. Vincent and the Grenadines to have diplomatic relations with countries that would further enhance the island’s socio-economic development.
“Foreign relations is a highly sophisticated…business. There are some people who want to look at foreign policy as in the Cold War,” Gonsalves told a news conference following visits to a number of countries like Taiwan and Britain in recent days.
He told reporters that those persons, whom he did not name, “haven’t gotten out of that old mode and they have blinkers on their eyes.
“As you know that has not been the position of this government which looks at a policy to enhance our capacity to deal effectively with our external environment in the interest of our own people,” he added.
The Prime Minister said that he held talks with various officials on the future development of the island that is recovering from a number of natural disasters in recent weeks and would be meeting with the Taiwanese diplomat here to discuss the modalities of promised financial and other assistance to the island.
During his lengthy news conference, in which Gonsalves discussed issues ranging from assistance from the Barbados-based Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) to the marriage of Prince William and his wife, Kate, the Prime Minister also disclosed that he would be writing a letter to United States President Barack Obama on the recent capture and death of the terrorist, Osama bin Laden.
The leader of the al-Qaeda group, who had been blamed for a number of terrorist activities worldwide, including the September 2001 attack on the World Trade Center in the United States, was killed after a small team of US operatives raided his residence in Abbottabad, Pakistan
Gonsalves said that he would congratulate the United States leader on the “magnificent assault on the accommodation of the terrorist” in Pakistan, adding that developing countries like St. Vincent and the Grenadines understood the “adverse effects” of terrorism on their economies.
“We are very pleased to have this success,” he said, noting that developing countries have had to shift much needed revenue to deal with issues like poverty eradication to upgrading air and sea ports as part of the efforts to deal with terrorist activities.
Gonsalves told reporters that he would be leading a delegation to Brazil on Friday “to sell St. Vincent and the Grenadines as an investment local” adding :it is not easy in today’s world, the economic circumstances continue to have an impact on us”.

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