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Opposition calls for PM to report on summit

Published:Monday | February 3, 2014 | 12:00 AM

Opposition spokesman on Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Edmund Bartlett, wants Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller to report to the nation on the outcome of a summit she attended last week.

The prime minister led a delegation last week to a Summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) in Cuba.

Bartlett said the Opposition readily appreciates and recognises the significant role organisations like CELAC play, and have the potential to play, in promoting further political and economic cooperation across the region.

"The Opposition, like the rest of society, expected the prime minister to have reported to the nation by now, advising of the outcomes and key deliverables arising from the summit in Cuba. Of particular importance to the Jamaican people at this time is a worthwhile report from the prime minister as to the specific benefits we derived from our participation last week and the gains our country is likely to see going forward based on our association with CELAC," Bartlett stated.

Well-established relations

He argued that while Jamaica enjoyed well-established relations with its traditional partners in the region, "we must recognise that in light of their relatively larger populations and markets, the wider Latin American community is of tremendous geopolitical and geostrategic interest to us."

He noted that deeper cooperation with these Latin American states would undoubtedly provide new, lucrative and exciting prospects for more meaningful economic relations.

"The Government must ensure that our country is positioned in a manner that will enable us to unlock potential by extending our reach within the hemisphere, as we further leverage existing opportunities and advance our development interests," Bartlett said.