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T&T foreign affairs minister arrives in Jamaica for free movement talks

Published: Monday December 2, 2013 | 2:38 pm Comments 0
Winston Dookeran – File
Winston Dookeran – File

A delegation from Trinidad and Tobago led by its Minister of Foreign Affairs, Winston Dookeran has arrived in Jamaica for talks over the free movement of Jamaicans into the twin-island republic.

Dookeran and a delegation are to meet, over two days, with Jamaica’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator A.J. Nicholson.

Dookeran was invited for talks after 13 Jamaicans were denied entry into Trinidad and Tobago on November 21.

The move has triggered strong public outrage in Jamaica.

At least one campaign has been launched calling for a boycott of Trinidadian goods, to protest the deportations.

In outlining his rationale for inviting Dookeran, Senator Nicholson said the resulting discontent had the potential of undermining confidence and diminishing goodwill on the part of many Jamaicans towards Trinidad and Tobago and the wider regional integration movement.

He said personal intervention and collaboration can go a far way in bringing this issue to a speedy and successful conclusion.

The Trinidadian Government has maintained that its immigration officials denied entry to the Jamaicans on legitimate grounds.

A statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade said the discussions would include hassle-free travel as stipulated in the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas and implications of the Caribbean Court of Justice ruling in the Shanique Myrie case.

The two foreign ministers are also to discuss the treatment of Jamaicans by immigration officials and the conditions under which Jamaicans are accommodated.

Matters such as consular representation, the appeals process, and the movement of Jamaican skilled nationals into Trinidad and Tobago are also expected to be on the agenda.

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