Wed | Jan 17, 2018

Foreign minister to continue dialogue with T&T on immigration stalemate

Published:Sunday | May 8, 2016 | 12:08 PM
Foreign Affairs Minister Kamina Johnson Smith

The contentious issue of free movement of Jamaicans into Trinidad is expected to be high on the agenda of Foreign Affairs Minister Senator Kamina Johnson Smith while at the 19th meeting of CARICOM's Council for Foreign and Community Relations (COFCOR) in Kingstown, St Vincent.

Both countries have been at odds in recent months over the treatment of Jamaicans entering Trinidad and the significant numbers of Jamaicans expelled or prevented from entering the twin-island republic.

Johnson Smith has indicated that bilateral talks over the issue have been progressing with Trinidad, with reports last week quoting her as saying that Trinidad was in the process of establishing a facility to house Jamaicans and other CARICOM nationals denied entry into Trinidad.

Johnson Smith says she expects to continue the immigration-related talks with her Trinidad counterpart during the two-day meeting, which starts tomorrow.

The CARICOM Council meetings serve as the main platform for CARICOM foreign ministers to strengthen the region’s foreign policy coordination and harmonise positions on regional and international issues of common interest.

The CARICOM ministers will discuss the recently concluded CARICOM-USA Energy Summit, CARICOM-Cuba relations, as well as CARICOM-EU cooperation in the context of a possible UK exit from the EU.

The CARICOM council will also discuss sustainable development, including the implementation of the UN 2030 Agenda and climate change issues; reparatory justice and the International Decade of People of African Descent, in addition to cooperation and relations with third states, such as Mexico and the UK.