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  • T&T opposition wants country to have bigger role within CARICOM

    first_img Share 37 Views   no discussions Tweet Share Sharing is caring!center_img Share NewsPoliticsRegional T&T opposition wants country to have bigger role within CARICOM by: Caribbean Media Corporation – August 21, 2015 Keith RowleyPORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad (CMC) – A People’s National Movement (PNM) government will move to have a bigger role in the affairs of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) if it wins the September 7 general elections, Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley has said.Rowley has been critical of the foreign policy of the coalition People’s Partnership government of Prime Minister Kamla Persad Bissessar with his party indicating that upon assuming office it would seek to “repair relations in CARICOM that have been damaged over the last five years, such as the relationship with Jamaica”.Rowley said that Trinidad and Tobago lost an opportunity to take a leadership when Persad Bissessar, soon after coming to office, failed to attend a special CARICOM summit in Guyana that dealt with the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME).The CSME allows for the free movement of skills, goods, services and labour across the 15-member grouping.“Unfortunately in the last five years, Trinidad and Tobago has acceded its leadership of CARICOM,” Rowley said, adding that a statement by Persad Bissessar that Port of Spain was no longer an ATM machine for region “which had the effect of annoying our CARICOM neighbours and I don’t think that…has abated in any way”Rowley said that a “healthier CARICOM would also mean a healthier CARICOM and we have a leadership role and we have not acted as a leader in CARICOM and we intend to reverse that position and ensure that CARICOM remains a regional entity…and Trinidad and Tobago will not speak down to CARICOM leaders and promise them aid if they will trade with us”.Rowley said a PNM government would also seek do have more cooperation with regional countries, pointing out that he was prepared to cooperate in energy matters with Barbados and that talks would be held with Guyana and Suriname on strengthening bilateral relations..“The world is getting more and more complex…we need to work together and Trinidad and Tobago in CARICOM will assume a leadership role there,” he said.Meanwhile, Rowley said a PNM government would back Sir Ronald Sanders, Antigua and Barbuda’s nominee for the post of Commonwealth Secretary general. Sir Ronald faces a challenge from Dominica-born Baroness Patricia Scotland, the former attorney general in the United Kingdom, who is Dominica’s nominee.Regional leaders had failed during the summit in Barbados in July to agree on a Caribbean nominee and left the matter to be dealt with by the CARICOM Bureau, comprising the prime ministers of Barbados, Belize and the Bahamas.“We have been following this matter for quite a while and we support Sir Ronald Sanders from Antigua,” Rowley added.last_img read more