Jamaica, US continue to enjoy strong diplomatic relations – Johnson Smith
KINGSTON, Jamaica – Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator Kamina Johnson Smith, says the Governments of Jamaica and the United States (US) continue to enjoy strong and positive diplomatic relations.
She gave this assurance against the background of recent media reports of a “diplomatic row” between the countries, which she has discounted.
Senator Johnson Smith said in accordance with diplomatic practice, and within the ambit of its Constitution, Jamaica grants privileges and immunities to incoming diplomats, their staff and families, to either reside in or visit the country.
“All requests made to the Foreign [Affairs] Ministry are considered within this context. Members of staff from both countries continue to reside and work in each other’s territory and are expected to observe the laws of their host country,” the minister said in a statement.
This statement was read by the Minister without Portfolio in the Office of the Prime Minister with Responsibility for Information Robert Morgan, during Wednesday’s post-Cabinet press briefing at Jamaica House.
Senator Johnson Smith said Jamaica has always complied with procedures and set term limits for the tenures of its diplomats within the US.
“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade has complied with these procedures and has, in fact, conducted its customary rotation exercise. Heads of Jamaican Missions in the United States whose tenure will come naturally to an end later this year, are already preparing for their transition,” she informed.
Minister Johnson Smith emphasised that the Government of Jamaica recognises the importance of maintaining the traditions and practices of diplomacy, which have long ensured a seamless relationship with the diplomatic community and supported vibrant and admirable relations with the US for over 60 years.
“The people-to-people relations between Jamaica and the United States have been a most successful area of cooperation, and we look forward to their continuation. There is no diplomatic spat or, as the media reported, diplomatic row between Jamaica and the United States, as we continue to enjoy strong and positive diplomatic relations,” she said.
Minister Morgan said the US echoed similar sentiments in their presentation yesterday.