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Hanna urges gov't to extend Jamaica's agenda when Tillerson visits

Thursday, February 01, 2018

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — The People's National Party (PNP) says while it welcomes the announcement of the impending visit by United States Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to Jamaica, the Government should use the opportunity to extend Jamaica's agenda beyond exclusive bilateral US-Jamaica affairs.

In a statement yesterday, Opposition Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs, Lisa Hanna, said Tillerson's visit is timely and provides an important opportunity to strengthen diplomatic ties between Jamaica and the USA and to improve areas of cooperation with Jamaica and other countries in the Hemisphere.

Hanna noted the important role that the United States plays in geopolitics, its impact on the global economy, the global supply chain, trade and investment and the increasingly important issue of world peace.

She urged the Government of Jamaica to use the opportunity to extend Jamaica's agenda beyond exclusive bilateral US-Jamaica affairs, to include regional and hemispheric issues; and to raise with Tillerson important areas of concern including proposed changes to US immigration laws, which will have a major impact on the Jamaican Diaspora as well as other policies which impact Jamaica and the region.

“Jamaica's agenda for discussion should include but not be limited to immigration/deportation concerns, budget cuts in USAID Programmes in Jamaica and the region; and in particular the discontinuation of Programmes to build resilience to Climate Change given last year's natural disaster events that affected the region” Hanna said.

Against the background of the recent US travel advisory, the upsurge of murders in Jamaica, the Opposition spokesperson said Prime Minister Andrew Holness must provide credible solutions and reassurances to Tillerson that security in Jamaica, remains an important priority of his administration.

Hanna concluded that the friendly US/Jamaica bilateral relationship remains of vital importance to Jamaica's national development and has been strengthened over the years through increasing cooperation on trade, including the Caribbean Basin Initiative (CBI); investments and participation in regional security initiatives, energy security, tourism, maritime border protection, immigration and the interests of the Jamaican Diaspora and expressed the hope that deliberations will contribute to the strengthening of ties will be mutually beneficial to both nations.

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