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Caribbean heads of government have lauded Prime Minister, Portia Simpson Miller, for her “masterly” chairmanship of the recent two-day CARICOM conference and have expressed confidence in her ability to take a leadership role in the affairs of the region.
“I want to commend Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller for the masterly way in which she chaired these very complex deliberations,” said Prime Minister of Barbados, Owen Arthur, at a press briefing held at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Montego Bay at the conclusion of the meeting of the CARICOM Prime Ministerial Sub-Committee on External Negotiations and the Prime Ministerial Sub-Committee on the Caribbean Single Market and Economy (CSME).
“All of us, who were a part of these discussions, have no reason to believe other than that the Prime Minister of Jamaica is very experienced on matters of great complexity. I think I speak on behalf of all my colleagues and so congratulate her on a job wonderfully well-done,” he added.
Similar sentiments also came from Chairman of CARICOM and Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Ralph Gonzalves, who described Mrs. Simpson Miller as “simply magnificent”.
“I want to offer my personal congratulations to the Prime Minister of Jamaica. I even suggested that I’d love to see her chairing CARICOM meetings all the time. She gets the business done so easily. If there’s a clash of opinions between strong-headed males, her soothing presence and intervention makes a world of difference.”
“I believe that the people of Jamaica are fortunate to have a leader of such an outstanding quality and who in a very short period of time since she became Prime Minister, demonstrate that quality which we know in the national and regional levels. All her remarkable skills were on parade (during the meeting) and I want to thank her for her work here and for the way in which she chaired the proceedings,” Prime Minister Gonzalves stated.
Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister, Patrick Manning, also concurred with these statements, congratulating Mrs. Portia Simpson Miller for her “maturity and skill” in chairing the conference.
“I have to conclude that she has matured tremendously in the period of time since her advent to office and in fact presented herself today as what I considered to be a very skilled chairman. I think she has done extremely well and has demonstrated the dexterity that can only come, in my view, with experience and I want to congratulate her on that,” Mr. Manning said.
Mrs. Simpson Miller, for her part, hailed the “unity of purpose and the level of commitment demonstrated by all participants,” during the two days of deliberations.
“Over the last two days, we have had a most productive and engaging meeting, the first of its kind, bringing together the sub-committees responsible for the CSME and external trade negotiations. I am encouraged by the unity of purpose and the level of commitment demonstrated by all participants during the meetings,” she stated.