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Prime Minister, the Hon. Bruce Golding said he is pleased with the outcome of the Fifth Summit of the Americas and is optimistic of stronger relations among the Caribbean, Latin America and the United States of America (USA).
Addressing journalists at the Norman Manley International Airport on Sunday night (April 19), Mr. Golding said the three-day Summit, held in Trinidad and Tobago, was a milestone for the region and he is “very encouraged” by discussions held with USA President Barack Obama.
“I have returned very encouraged, very pleased about the outcome of the meeting,” he stated. “I’m very, very hopeful, very optimistic that the Western Hemisphere is going to proceed into the future on a new basis; a basis that is going to involve a different kind of relationship and involvement of the United States, which is the most powerful country in the Western Hemisphere,” he stated.
Prime Minister Golding noted that the various Heads of State and Government at the Summit agreed that the plight being faced by Haiti, would take priority at the Organisation of American States (OAS) meeting set for Honduras in June.
“We took a strong decision on the issue of Haiti (in terms of) what assistance can be rendered and what sort of development programme can be put in place to help them to address their plight,” he informed.
Mr. Golding said the high point of the Summit was the input of Mr. Obama, noting that the American President spoke with candor and listened intently to the discussions of the various Heads.
He said that CARICOM must be commended for its “quiet intervention,” which influenced the thinking and conduct of the Summit. A total of 15 CARICOM states were represented among the 34 countries at the Summit.
In the meantime, Prime Minister Golding pointed to the need for an overall programme “that looks at this region as a peculiar region of the world that has 34 countries, that has a significant portion of the world’s total population, (and) all the resources for development, whether in terms of energy, in terms of the ability to provide food security… we have those resources within the region; it’s a question as to how we calculate those resources.”
Mr. Golding was accompanied to the Summit by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Hon. Dr. Kenneth Baugh, and other technical officials, as well as Ambassador to the Unites States, Anthony Johnson, who is also Jamaica’s Permanent Representative to the OAS.
Prime Minister Golding returned to Jamaica in the company of Prime Minister of Canada, the Rt. Hon. Stephen Harper, who is on a two-day working visit to the island (April 19-21).
For more information on the Summit, visit http://www.ctntworld.com/site/fifthsummit/http://www.fifthsummitoftheamericas.org/photogallery.aspx

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