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Obama to arrive a day earlier than first announced

Published:Friday | April 3, 2015 | 12:32 AM
United States President Barack Obama

United States President Barack Obama is to arrive in Jamaica on April 8, a day earlier than the date Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller had announced last month.

However Consular Officer for Public Affairs at the US Embassy in Kingston, Joshua Polacheck, says the April 8 arrival date is not a change in schedule as it was planned long ago that the US President would arrive ahead of a full working day on April 9.

“Think about the travel time from Washington, if he is going to work on the morning of the 9th he would have to leave Washington like 4 in the morning,” Polacheck  explained.

A check on the White House's website shows a release issued on March 18 which states that Obama will visit Jamaica and Panama from April 8-11.

Meanwhile, Polacheck says officials are finalising Obama’s schedule for his visit to Jamaica.

He says among other things the US President will be holding bilateral talks with Prime Minister Portia Simpson as well as meeting with leaders from the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).

Yesterday, the Ministry of National Security issued a statement saying the National Reserve of the Jamaica Defence Force has been called out to strengthen security around Obama’s visit.

National Security Minister Peter Bunting said the calling out of the Reserves is among several security measures being pursued.

Bunting also said the public should expect traffic diversions and road closures during the visit.

Additionally, there will be air space restrictions to be communicated by the Jamaica Civil Aviation Authority.