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White House briefing: US strongly supports Jamaica's debt fighting efforts

Published:Tuesday | April 7, 2015 | 4:32 AMJovan Johnson, Gleaner Writer
United States President Barack Obama walks to the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, last Thursday.

The Government of Jamaica is set to receive the backing of United States President Barack Obama for its handling of the economic programme with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Obama is to arrive in Jamaica tomorrow on a State visit, where he is expected to hold bilateral talks with Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller and attend a meeting of CARICOM leaders.

The White House held a briefing this morning via telephone to provide a preview of the visit to Jamaica and the Summit of the Americas in Panama.

A director in the US National Security Council, Ricardo Zuniga, noted that the visit provides the opportunity for the President to talk with his Jamaican counterpart about what he calls the strong US support for Jamaica's efforts to deal with its debt crisis.

 

Director in the US National Security Council, Ricardo Zuniga

Jamaica has passed all seven tests so far under its four-year agreement with the IMF.

Last year, IMF managing director, Christine Lagarde visited Jamaica and commended the government for its implementation of the tough economic reforms.

However, the Opposition Jamaica Labour Party has said the Government has been passing IMF tests but failing to meet the needs of Jamaicans.

Meanwhile, the US government officials revealed the full itinerary of Obama’s visit.

Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications, Ben Rhodes, says while the President will arrive tomorrow, his official duties will not begin until Thursday.

 

Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications, Ben Rhodes

He says security and energy issues will be on the agenda for the meeting with CARICOM leaders.