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Pitch Jamaica's importance to Obama, others

Published:Monday | April 6, 2015 | 12:00 AM


The visit of United States President Barack Obama augurs well for Jamaica and the Caribbean Community (CARICOM). It is historic, as it is the first visit to Jamaica of a US president since 1982 when Republican President Ronald Reagan visited the island. Three decades later, another US president will visit our shores. Its significance and importance must be acknowledged.

Given the US foreign policy primordial focus after 9/11, from the Caribbean to the Middle East and Asia because of emerging global threats of terrorism, the Caribbean witnessed a global repositioning of its status within the context, notwithstanding the continuity of bilateral arrangements with Jamaica and the other Caribbean countries in areas such as trade and economic cooperation, drug trafficking, social amelioration and climate change.

Emboldened by the auspicious occasion of the visit of President Obama, let us use this opportunity to reiterate our importance as strategic neighbours and geopolitical allies in multilateral and other fora and strengthen bilateral cooperation and engagement on issues of mutual significance which will be to the benefit of the country and the region.