Johnson Smith congratulates Biden, hopes to build new relations with VP

Johnson Smith congratulates Biden, hopes to build new relations with VP

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator Kamina Johnson Smith, has expressed congratulations on behalf of the Jamaican Government to US President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris on their inauguration today.

Biden became the 46th President of the United States on Wednesday, swearing the oath of office just before noon to take the helm of a deeply divided nation while inheriting a confluence of crises arguably greater than any faced by his predecessors.

At the same time, Harris, who is of Jamaican and Indian descent, becamethe first woman to be vice president. The former US senator from California is alsothe first Black personandthe first person of South Asian descentelected to the vice presidency and will become the highest-ranking woman ever to serve in government.

Johnson Smith, in her statement, hailed the inauguration as a “special and historic” one.

"Even as we renew engagement with President Biden, previously a Vice President, we also look forward to building new relations with the vice president.

“Indeed, it is of special significance to Jamaica that Vice President Harris is the first female Vice President of the United States of America, a woman of colour and the child of Jamaican and Indian immigrants,” said the minister.

See statement in full:

The Government of Jamaica extends warm congratulations to President Joseph R Biden Jr and Vice President Kamala Harris on their formal assumption of duties. Today's inauguration reaffirms the strong democratic foundation on which the United States of America is built and for which it has had a long and distinguished tradition.

The occasion is special and historic. Even as we renew engagement with President Biden, previously a Vice President, we also look forward to building new relations with the Vice President. Indeed, it is of special significance to Jamaica that Vice President Harris is the first female Vice President of the United States of America, a woman of colour and the child of Jamaican and Indian immigrants. We, therefore, join in acknowledging this important milestone and note with pride her own inspiring assertion that while she is the first, she expects that many more will follow her.

Jamaica values its close friendship with the United States, a key ally and a major development partner. It is a relationship that has been shaped by mutually beneficial cooperation, deep historical and cultural ties, mutual respect for the rule of law and human rights, as well as the large Jamaican Diaspora in the United States.

The Government and people of Jamaica look forward to the further deepening of this strong and active partnership, under the Biden-Harris administration. We convey our best wishes to President Biden and his Administration as the world seeks to navigate these challenging times.


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