CHARLESTOWN, Nevis, CMC:
Premier Joseph Parry says Nevis is seeking a closer working relationship with the French Overseas Department of Guadeloupe in areas such as education, agriculture, geothermal exploration and culture.
Parry said he held 'fruitful' discussions with the Paris-based French diplomat Fred Constant, who is in charge of Regional Cooperation for the Caribbean and the Guianas.
"In France I met with the Ministry of Overseas and Regional Development and I discussed with the ambassador the possibility of a Memorandum of Understanding for cooperation in a number of areas" said Parry.
He said that the discussions involved the possible exchange of students and teachers between the two islands, adding it was important that local students learnt French and for teachers to be able to teach the language. "But we want to go further than that.
I have been informed that there are two universities in Guadeloupe offering tuition at US$300 a year, in addition to that you just have to find board and lodging. That is much cheaper than any other university in the Caribbean, including the University of the West Indies."
He said that while his administration is not seeking scholarships from the French universities, it would appreciate any opening that would benefit local students.