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United States President, Barack Obama, says that his country supports Jamaica’s efforts to ensure public safety and to combat drug trafficking and other criminal activities.
President Obama also praised Jamaica for playing a key role in developing the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative (CBSI), a major regional security partnership between the U.S. and the Caribbean, which was launched in Barbados in early June.
“As a member of the Caribbean-U.S. Joint Working Group, Jamaica played a key role in developing this initiative,” Mr. Obama said in his speech welcoming newly appointed Ambassador of Jamaica to the United States, Audrey Marks, at the White House on Monday (June 28).
‘As the Jamaican Government seeks to uphold the rule of law, the United States supports its efforts to ensure public safety and to combat drug trafficking and other criminal activity,” he stated.
He said that with the launch of the Initiative, the United States recognises that its security interests are “deeply intertwined” with those of the Caribbean nations.
“Along with other partners in the Caribbean, we pledge to work together to reduce illicit trafficking in the Caribbean, to advance public safety and security and to promote social justice by addressing the important issues of crime prevention, justice sector reform and corruption,” the U. S. President said.
The CBSI is an effort by the U.S. Government and its Caribbean partners to develop a joint regional citizen safety strategy, to tackle the full range of security and criminal threats to the Caribbean Basin.
Fifteen countries of the Caribbean Basin are included in the CBSI: Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago.
Mr. Obama noted that Jamaica and the United States are collaborating on energy and climate issues, under the Energy and Climate Partnership. Brazil and the United States are helping Jamaica to develop its biofuels capacity and implement its ethanol blending programme.
He congratulated Jamaica on its “practical approach” to addressing its energy security challenges, which he described as “a strong example to countries in the region and beyond”.
“Jamaica demonstrated leadership in this area when it expanded access to Ethanol 10 blend to most gas stations on the island, reducing its dependence on traditional fuel,” he stated.
Mr. Obama also praised Jamaica’s “important role”, working with its Caribbean neighbours, in ensuring an efficient regional response to the devastating earthquake in Haiti in January.