Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator the Hon. Kamina Johnson Smith, says there is “no rift” between Jamaica and its traditional partners in security cooperation.
“Our efforts continue to be strong and friendly, based on mutual respect. There are issues which arise, as there must between any sovereign nations, and we work them out,” she said in the Senate on Friday (September 21).
The Minister was speaking on the Emergency Powers (No. 2) (Continuance) (No.3) Resolution, 2018, to extend the State of Public Emergency in the St. Catherine North Police Division until January 2, 2019.
“We have new partnerships. As we stated at the very start of our tenure, that part of our foreign policy is to not only deepen and strengthen existing partnerships, but to work on building new partnerships, and those are under way with several partners,” she said.
Senator Johnson Smith, who is also Leader of Government Business, said foreign policy will be guided by “our national development policies, so where it is that security is one of the two highest priorities of this Government, then certainly our cooperative efforts with other countries will also include security”.
“This is not at the exclusion or even at the reduction of cooperation with our traditional partners; it is about building additional partnerships,” the Minister said.
All 19 members who were present voted in favour of the extension of the State of Public Emergency. Two members were absent.
The security measure is slated to end on October 2.