PM Patterson holds Bilateral Talks with British Prime Minister


Prime Minister P. J. Patterson today (June 10), held crucial bilateral talks with British Prime Minister Tony Blair at his 10 Downing Street offices in London. The discussion focused on a wide number of issues which included a request for the UK to render additional support in the fight against crime and drug trafficking.
Mr. Patterson noted that Jamaica enjoyed good bilateral relations with Britain and that these relations had been deepened over the years, as the two countries collaborated on matters of mutual security interest. He said Jamaica and Britain were working together in fighting narco-trafficking and the importation of illegal firearms. This Mr. Patterson said had worked significantly well as evidenced by the fact that there had been a reduction in the transshipment of cocaine through Jamaica.
On the matter of Operation Kingfish, the Prime Minister noted that the programme has been reaping significant successes. Prime Minister Patterson indicated that a number of legislative changes would be implemented to intensify local crime fighting capabilities including amendments to the Evidence Act, to permit the presentation of evidence gathered through electronic surveillance to the Courts.
He said additional technical assistance was necessary in the fight against corruption to include the elimination of extortion, improving forensic capabilities and training of police officers.
Prime Minister Blair concurred with Mr. Patterson that it was in the UK’s interest to support Jamaica in these areas given the direct link between criminal activities in Jamaican and the impact on Jamaican communities in the UK. Further talks are to take place between Security Minister Dr. Peter Phillips and Mr. Garrett Thomas of the UK Government to discuss cooperation for funding, training and technical assistance.

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