Kamina Johnson Smith | Reaching out to Mideast Jamaicans
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade has taken note of a letter published in your column by a D. Bowen on Tuesday, September 10, 2019, and wish to respond to the issue raised.
First, the ministry sincerely regrets the deficiencies in the communication of the closure to the Jamaican community in the Gulf states who would have been affected by the closure. We did not reach enough of our nationals and truly apologise for the inconveniences caused.
We wish to assure our nationals that they have not been left on their own, as we explain further below. We also sincerely regret any inconvenience caused to members of the Jamaican community in the Gulf region by the closure of the embassy in Kuwait. The decision was taken only after careful consideration and deliberation. Regretfully, despite the support of the Kuwaiti government, keeping the embassy open is no longer feasible.
Please be assured that we took into account the important role that the embassy has played in providing consular services to Jamaican nationals living in the region since 2010, including passport and authentication services. In this regard, we have largely reverted to the arrangements which were in place prior to the opening of the embassy, in that assistance will primarily be provided by the Jamaican High Commission in London.
Information on the closure is on the ministry’s website, and social media has also been used to publicise the decision. This will now be enhanced with suggested alternative locations where services may be accessed. In this regard, we wish to inform our community in the Gulf region that in addition to the Jamaican High Commission in London, they may also contact any Jamaican embassy, high commission or consulate nearest to their location. The list of missions on the ministry’s website may be used to determine which is most convenient.
CONSULATE’S CONTACT INFO
For ease of reference, persons may note the contact information for the high commission in London, as well as the consulates in the region:
n The Jamaican High Commission – (London) tel: 011-44 207-823-9911; email: email@example.com
n The Jamaican Honorary Consul – (Jordan) tel: 011 0795555310 or 0795580148; email: firstname.lastname@example.org
n The Jamaican Honorary Consul (Lebanon) tel: +961 1 750444 ext 109 & 135; email: email@example.com
n The Jamaican Honorary Consul – Israel; tel: 972 9 772 2925; email: firstname.lastname@example.org
In seeking to better serve our nationals in the region and as part of our general diaspora outreach, we also take this opportunity to encourage expatriates to join the Jamaica Middle East Diaspora Association in addition to forming their own local community associations. This will not only help to deepen engagement, but, of course, facilitate wider and more efficient dissemination of information.
The ministry stands ready to address all concerns and invites our nationals to make contact with the Consular Affairs Department at email@example.com and telephone: 876 9264220/8, ext: 3345 and 3359.
Kamina Johnson is the minister of foreign affairs and foreign trade. Email feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org.