CASTRIES, St Lucia (CMC):
Opposition Leader Stephenson King yesterday said that it is standard procedure for the United States to bar police officers from entering any US territory for training programmes once they have failed "various tests".
The former prime minister was speaking ahead of last night's address to the nation by Prime Minister Dr Kenny Anthony on the decision by Washington to deny Police Commissioner Vernon François entry to attend a training programme organised and financed by Washington.
Earlier this month, the Office of the Prime Minister confirmed the US decision but gave no reason for the move. However, it stated that "the issues are serious and complex" and it was in St Lucia's vital interest "to maintain close ties of cooperation with the United States on security matters".
King said that the decision to prevent the police commissioner was a matter of concern to every St Lucian, which needed to be urgently addressed by Prime Minister Anthony.