Jamaica vital partner - US president
President of the United States Barack Obama has said Jamaica is a vital partner in the fight against transnational crime.
"We have supported your exemplary effort by providing training and equipment to the Jamaica Constabulary Force, the Jamaica Defence Force, as well as working to improve overall security within the Caribbean basin," the president told new ambassador to the United States, Ralph Thomas.
At a ceremony in the Oval Office at the White House last Thursday, when the ambassador presented his credentials, President Obama said the US is also working with the Government of Jamaica to improve the country's energy diversity and security.
"The Jamaica Clean Energy Programme, supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), will help pave the way for clean-energy development in Jamaica. Clean, diverse and reliable sources of energy are keys to ensuring the economic prosperity of your island," he added.
The president welcomed the ambassador, and said he was looking forward to working together, "to advance our common agenda as we deepen, further, the strong and abiding friendship of our two countries."
In his reply, Thomas commended the US government for the assistance and support it continues to give to Jamaica, citing areas such as HIV/AIDS prevention, education, human rights and long-standing programmes administered through USAID and the US Peace Corps.
He also noted support provided to the Caribbean region under the Caribbean Basin Initiative.
Ambassador Thomas pointed out that a significant portion of the diaspora has made the US home, "cementing the bonds between our people beyond the formal level of engagement".