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'Dudus' impasse serious, says DC mayor

BY KIMMO MATTHEWS Sunday Observer staff reporter matthewsk@jamaicaobserver.com

Sunday, March 28, 2010    

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MAYOR of Washington, DC Adrian Fenty has described the ongoing impasse between the United States and Jamaica over the extradition request for Christopher 'Dudus' Coke as a "serious issue", but said he was hopeful that both governments will be able to resolve the matter in the near future.

The mayor, a member of the Democratic party -- one of two major contemporary political parties in the United States -- noted on Friday that although not a lot of citizens in Washington, DC were talking about the case, it was a matter that needed to be dealt with.

"I am confident that it will be worked out. Jamaica and the United States have always enjoyed a very long and strong partnership, and working relation," the mayor told the Sunday Observer.

He was attending a banquet marking the 1Oth anniversary of the Barbican Pines Optimists Club. His wife Michelle, president of the Advisory Council for Capital Breast Care Centre, was the guest speaker at the function.

Fenty told the Sunday Observer that although he did not have the full details of the case, it was important that both countries re-establish the strong working relationship they have always shared.

"This is one issue -- a serious issue -- but I think both countries will get past this (and) they need to get past this very quickly," he said.

"They need to, because some American citizens come here, and some Jamaican citizens come to the United States; so you want the working relationship to be as strong as it always has been," added the mayor, who also spoke briefly about a range of issues, from his love for Jamaican food and the beauty of the country, to the organisation of the ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys' and Girls' Championships.

Meanwhile, Michelle Fenty, in her main address, challenged Optimists to build on the rich tradition and legacy left by the founders of the club -- which was one of the only all-woman organisations in Jamaica and possibly the region.

Quoting sections of the Optimist Creed, Mrs Fenty said, "I want you all to promise yourself to be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind".

Mrs Fenty, who is of Jamaican heritage, was born and raised in London, England and moved to New York at age 18.

Her passion and commitment for the betterment of children have led her to serve as a board member for the group, Fight for Children.

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