MONTEGO BAY — United States Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton, has described the relationship between Jamaica and the United States as excellent, and that she is personally very heartened and pleased about it.
“We have worked very hard over the last two and a half years, certainly since I have been Secretary of State under President (Barack) Obama’s administration, to deepen and broaden the relationship between Jamaica and the United States,” Mrs. Clinton said.
The Secretary of State was speaking at a press conference, following her meeting with CARICOM Foreign Ministers, at the Ritz Carlton Hotel, in Montego Bay, on June 22.
Mrs. Clinton, who was on a one-day visit to the island, pointed out that the partnership between both countries, is a long term one, with collaboration being one of the pillars of that relationship.
She cited the economic challenges that Jamaica faced a few years ago, such as high interest rates, and local and foreign debts, and commended the Government for its accomplishments in seeking to address those problems.
“I look back now and what Jamaica has accomplished in financial and economic terms is very impressive and commendable,” Mrs. Clinton said.
With respect to the fight against crime and drug trafficking, she described Jamaica’s approach as encouraging. “I think the way that Jamaica has confronted some of the issues of crime and violence, and particularly the challenges from drug cartels, is quite encouraging as well,” she said, noting that there are many other issues that both countries are working on together.
Meanwhile, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Hon. Dr. Kenneth Baugh, said the relationship between both countries is strong, very productive and improving.
By Bryan Miller, JIS Reporter