Vice President and Minister of Foreign Affairs addresses the media personnel in a press conference.
I led a Guyana team, including the Director General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to Istanbul Turkey from 20 to 22 April. The team participated in the fourth meeting of the Quartet of Foreign Ministers of CELAC. The Quartet consists of the past Chair (Ecuador) the current Chair (El Salvador) the outgoing Chair (The Dominican Republic) and the Chair of CARICOM (Guyana).
Turkey is an important and rising geo-economic influence in the world. It serves as a socio-cultural, political and economic bridge between Europe the Middle East and more generally between East and West. It has also been increasing its footprint as a donor state and has been investing in the Latin American and Caribbean Region. In 1998, it developed a LAC Action Plan. In that framework, it has extended a great deal of support to the region as well as to Guyana on a variety of fronts, including health and education.
In addition to discussing common concerns and sharing ideas on cooperation, the Parties agreed on and issued a Joint Declaration on the Establishment of a Permanent Mechanism of Cooperation between the Republic of Turkey and CELAC.
Subsequently, over the period 24 to 28 April, I participated with the President of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana in an Official visit to the United Kingdom.
The visit spanned a number of events ranging from meetings with individual and collective investors to a seminar on developments in Guyana. It was capped by a meeting between the President and Queen Elizabeth II at Windsor Castle on 26 April. On the 27th, over 250 members of the Guyanese Diaspora participated in a public meeting with the visiting Guyana team at the Classic Banqueting Suite, Caribbean Fusion Restaurant in Tooting, London.
The visit took place at a critical juncture of Guyana’s development and at an equally critical one in the UK’s political and economic evolution. In keeping with this, the representatives of the UK and Guyana Government discussed a range of important pertinent issues, such as Brexit implications for Guyana and proposed transitional arrangements for the Caribbean, cooperation in the sphere of Crime and Security and to the development of a Green State in Guyana. Discussions also covered a collaboration on many fronts, such as protecting the environment and combating climate change.
The UK Government was represented by the Rt. Hon. Boris Johnson, Foreign Secretary, FCO as well as the Rt. Hon. Baroness Anelay of St. Johns DBE, Minister for the Commonwealth and UN.
The team was also hosted at an annual reception at the Palace of Westminster on 25 April where they addressed and had exchanges with numerous representatives of the House of Lords and elected Britain MPs. The invitation to these events was extended and arranged by the Caribbean Council. Lord Bruce of Bennachie, shadow Secretary of State and Deputy Leader and Spokesman of the Liberal Democrats served as Chairperson for the Caribbean Council events at the House of Lords.
The Government of Guyana team included Guyana’s High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, Mr. Hamley Case.