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JIS News

Prime Minister P. J. Patterson and UK Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, Jack Straw, discussed a number of issues that are of interest to both countries such as crime and the EU sugar protocol.
Prime Minister Patterson expressed his appreciation for the “constancy” of the support given by the United Kingdom in the fight against crime in Jamaica. He said that the success of Operation Kingfish has resulted in an increase in other criminal activities such as big-ticket robberies. He told Mr. Straw, a former Home Secretary, that the Jamaican Government would increase the size of the Jamaica Constabulary Force as one way of addressing the crime problem.
On the issue of sugar, Prime Minister Patterson reiterated Jamaica’s position for continuing dialogue between the EU and ACP countries and the need for meaningful compensation to be made available to finance technical studies to develop a sugar cane based industry and for the rationalization and modernization of a viable industry. Assistance would also be required to assist the country to move to a sugar cane based industry which would include ethanol production.
The Prime Minister said that Jamaica was now examining the acreage that is required for the production of ethanol and how former sugar cane lands would be utilized for other purposes including the growing of other agricultural crops to support the tourism sector.
Mr. Straw is on a two-day visit to Jamaica.