Fri | Feb 28, 2020

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arrives in Jamaica amid controversy

Published:Tuesday | January 21, 2020 | 8:16 PM
United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo disembarks the United States plane on the tarmac of Kingston's Norman Manley International Airport - Ian Allen photos.

United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is now in Jamaica for a two-day working visit.

Pompeo, accompanied by senior US officials, landed at Kingston's Norman Manley International Airport around 6 p.m Tuesday.

He was met by Foreign Affairs Minister Kamina Johnson Smith, Opposition spokesperson on Foreign Affairs Lisa Hanna and US Ambassador to Jamaica Donald Tapia.

IN PHOTO: Pompeo greets officials after disembarking the United States plane

His visit coincides with concern that the United States may be seeking to divide the regional bloc, CARICOM, with the decision to meet with only eight Caribbean countries. 

However, Jamaica's foreign affairs minister has issued a statement saying Pompeo is participating in bilateral engagements.

"There is nothing unusual or divisive about such meetings. All countries, large and small, have a sovereign right to engage bilaterally with any other country, beyond any regional or hemispheric arrangements," she said.

Here's what Pompeo will do on Tuesday:
*Hold bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Andrew Holness​
*Meet representatives of select regional of governments
*Attend press conference Office of the Prime Minister
*Deliver policy speech on US-Caribbean relations at the Jamaica Pegasus hotel

Regional countries invited for talks with Pompeo
1. Jamaica
2. The Bahamas
3. Belize
4. St Kitts
5. Haiti
6. Dominican Republic
7. St Lucia
8. St Marteen

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