JIS News

Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Dr. Kenneth Baugh, has noted that the Sixth Meeting of the Jamaica/Colombia Bi-national Neighbourhood Commission, will provide an opportunity to consolidate and strengthen the relationship between both countries.
This will be done through the exchanging of experiences and expertise on many key issues critical to development, he said.
“Over the next two days, we will seek to further the progress that has been made in previous meetings of the Bi-national Commission. At the same time we will embark on new initiatives to improve our agricultural practices, stimulate our bilateral trade, enhance our rich and diverse cultural traditions and bolster our economic and scientific development,” Dr. Kenneth Baugh explained, while addressing the opening ceremony of the Sixth Meeting of the Jamaica/Colombia Bi-national Neighbourhood Commission today (Nov. 3), at the Dominica Drive offices of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade.
He also noted that the agenda for the Meeting is arranged in order to ensure “the achievement of maximum results over the next two days,” adding, “I remain confident that this meeting will mark the beginning of a new era in the consolidation of our fraternal ties”.
Meanwhile, the Foreign Affairs Minister informed that Jamaica and Columbia have enjoyed excellent relations over the years and noted that the strength of these relations lies “not only in our historical ties and tradition of cooperation, but also in our desire to encourage and reinforce mutually, our efforts to advance national development.”
“For us, Colombia represents the ideal bilateral partner. As neighbours we share both a maritime boundary and a history of more than 200 years dating from the time that Jamaican wood cutters and fishermen first settled in San Andres and Providencia Islands,” he said.
Dr. Baugh also added that both Jamaica and Colombia have a vibrant multi-ethnic, multicultural population and uphold traditions characterised by a commitment to democratic values and respect for fellow citizens.
“At the international level we share a firm belief in the importance of multilateralism as the most appropriate way to treat with issues concerning global peace and security, development and social justice,” Dr. Baugh stated.
Meanwhile, Dr. Jaime Bermudez Merizalde, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Colombia, noted that it is important for the delegation from Colombia to be here as “we are trying to deal with several aspects that are crucially important for both Jamaica and Colombia.”
“Just to mention our willingness to offer cooperation in several aspects for example, oil and gas, teaching of Spanish that is a very key issue for us, this bilateral language training programme and obviously security,” Dr. Merizalde said.

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