St. Maarten Prime Minister hold preliminary talks with Caribbean leaders on island’s Associate Membership in CARICOM

St. Maarten’s Prime Minister Hon. Sarah Wescott-Williams and Caribbean leaders at luncheon meeting.

BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, JULY 6TH 2011 (CUOPM) – St. Maarten has expressed an interest in becoming an Associate Member of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).

This was disclosed by St. Kitts and Nevis Prime Minister and Chairman of the regional integration movement, the Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas, who said the St. Maarten leader was one of several Heads of government and Institutions, who CARICOM leaders met with during the 32nd Regular Meeting of the Conference of the Heads of Government.

“The dynamism and solidity of our Community have encouraged one of our special guests at this meeting, the Prime Minister of St. Maarten, the Hon. Sarah Wescott-Williams to talk with us about submitting a formal request for her country to become an Associate Member of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), Prime Minister Douglas announced at the Closing Ceremony.

Prime Minister Wescott-Williams, who attended the Opening Ceremony on June 30th, held talks with Caribbean leaders during the luncheon session of the first caucus at Ottley’s Plantation on Saturday 1st July.

Prime Minister Wescott-Williams during the luncheon meeting brought Caribbean leaders up to date on the recent constitutional changes in Country St. Marten with the Dutch Kingdom.

CARICOM Chairman and St. Kitts and Nevis Prime Minister Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas (center), CARICOM Acting Secretary General, Ambassador Lolita Applewhaite (right) and other leaders listen to St. Maarten’s Prime Minister Hon. Sarah Wescott-Williams (left).

“CARICOM has several Councils on matters of interest to St. Maarten,” said Prime Minister Wescott-Williams in a recent statement reported in the St. Maarten Herald.

In accepting the invitation from Prime Minister Douglas to attend the Conference, the St. Maarten leader said she hoped to discuss “St. Maarten’s involvement in these Councils and eventual membership of CARICOM during the visit to St. Kitts.”

The communiqué issued at the end of the conference said: “Heads of Government and the Prime Minister of Sint Maarten, the Hon. Sarah Wescott-Williams held preliminary discussions with a view to Sint Maarten submitting a formal request to become an Associate Member of the Community.”

During the four-day meeting, Heads of Government also exchanged views with His Excellency Juan Manuel Santos Calderón, President of Colombia; His Excellency José Miguel Insulza, Secretary-General of the Organisation of American States (OAS) and Mr. Andris Piebalgs, European Union Commissioner for Development.

CARICOM Chairman Douglas also met with the Special Envoy of the Government of Cuba, His Excellency Bruno Rodriguez Parrilla.

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