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St Lucia foreign minister backs US despite criticisms

Published:Friday | January 22, 2010 | 1:00 AM

St Lucia (CMC):

St Lucia's Foreign Minister Rufus Bousquet is defending the United States in the face of strong criticisms of its lead role in Haiti, following the January 12 catastrophic earthquake that has flattened the capital and resulted in the death of tens of thousands of people.

Last week, US authorities who have been put in control of the main airport in Port-au-Prince following the massive 7.0 quake, refused permission for a high-level Caribbean Community (CARICOM) delegation to land in the aftermath of the devastation.

Dissatisfied

This has drawn an angry response in some regional quarters with Guyana's President, Bharrat Jagdeo, also slamming the US, saying it was putting obstacles in the way of other countries that have been seeking to help.

"Although we live in the vicinity of the United States, we do not agree with their entire stance, and we do express our dissatisfaction with lots of their policies and viewpoints now and then," said Jagdeo, adding that "many of the moves of the Americans around the globe are against the norms and merely ensure their own interests."

A row has also reportedly broken out between the government of France and the US administration, with the French accusing the Americans of occupying Haiti.