JIS News

United States Ambassador-designate to Jamaica, Pamela Bridgewater has said that one of her priorities, when she takes up office, would be to strengthen co-operation with Jamaica in the area of security, particularly through the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative.
“As one of the largest Caribbean nations, Jamaica is a key partner in addressing our mutual security concerns including combating drug trafficking and international crime organisations,” she said in an interview with JIS news, following a meeting between herself and Jamaican Ambassador to the United States, Her Excellency, Audrey Marks, at the Jamaican Embassy in Washington yesterday, August 24.
Mrs. Bridgewater pointed out that in May of this year, the United States and its Caribbean partners pledged to work together, to address regional security challenges through new Caribbean Basin Security Initiatives. As a member of the Caribbean-United States joint working group, Jamaica played a key role in developing this initiative and as Chair of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), Jamaica can play a central role in countering illicit drug trafficking and transnational crimes, she said.
The Ambassador-designate said the Jamaican Government, civil society, and business leaders have indicated their willingness to confront the criminal organisations that have hindered economic growth. She added that strengthening security presents a historic opportunity for Jamaica to build a stronger and more prosperous country.
Ambassador Bridgewater also indicated that she will be looking to pursue the creation of sister cities between cities and towns in Jamaica, and the United States.
She said she had found this to be a useful mechanism to promote business and investments in Ghana. In this regard, Mrs. Bridgewater said she will be making contact with Sister City International to see how such relations can be pursued in Jamaica. Sister City International is a non-profit citizen diplomacy network that seeks to strengthen economic and cultural ties at the local government level between the US and other countries.
In welcoming the concept, Ambassador Marks, cited the positive results of sister city relationships between Montego Bay and Atlanta, which is headed by Jamaica’s Honorary Consul in Atlanta, the Hon.Vin Martin, and expressed the view that such an initiative would be welcomed.

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