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Obama, White House impressed with Jamaica's preparation for his visit

Published:Sunday | April 12, 2015 | 10:49 AM
US President Barack Obama leaves Marine One while in Jamaica.

United States Ambassador to Jamaica Luis Moreno says both the White House and the US State Department were delighted with the level of preparation made by Jamaican authorities to host President Barack Obama last week.

Moreno says during one of their discussions, the American leader told Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller that he was impressed with the level of professionalism displayed by the members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force and the Jamaica Defence Force.

Moreno was speaking in an exclusive interview with the Gleaner-Power 106 News Centre days after Obama’s one day working visit to the island.

He says Obama and members of his delegation were touched by the outpouring of love from Jamaicans.

The US Ambassador acknowledged the criticisms about some of the dislocations caused by the visit, but noted that the Jamaican economy benefited from the presence of the more than 700 persons who were in the island for over a week to ensure that Obama’s trip went smoothly.

And Obama’s departure brought a sigh of relief for Minister of National Security Peter Bunting.

Bunting admitted that he was able to exhale after the US President’s one-day working visit ended without incident.

He pointed out that presidential visits usually require three months of planning, but said Jamaica only had three weeks from the time the trip was confirmed.

The security minister declined to discuss details of the security plan, but noted that both local and US security services personnel worked day and night to ensure the safety of the president and other foreign and local dignitaries on the island.

Bunting commended the efforts of all stakeholders, especially members of the security forces.