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Minister Brantley Attends 20th Meeting of the COFCOR in Barbados

Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Hon. Mark Brantley at the recently concluded Twentieth Meeting of the Council for Foreign and Community Relations (COFCOR) Meeting in Barbados, made a strong appeal for his colleague foreign ministers within CARICOM to seriously consider deepening relations with African countries, as we seek to build strategic alliances to achieve our foreign policy objectives.

Minister Brantley suggested Ethiopia, the seat of the African Union, as a potential starting point which could serve as a portal to other regions of that continent, be they Northern, Western, Sub-Saharan, or Southern, thereby unlocking avenues to trade and investment, which could positively touch the lives of the peoples of the Caribbean.

The Foreign Affairs Minister further indicated that the Caribbean is widely regarded as part of the African Diaspora, and as such, the willingness of our brothers and sisters on that continent to strengthen relations with the Caribbean should serve as impetus for our region to move in that direction.

Our strengthened engagement with African countries becomes even more critical in light of the imminent end of the Cotonou Partnership Agreement in 2020. The CPA serves as the main platform for countries of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) regions to engage in matters related to trade and development assistance with the European Union.

 

Basseterre,

21st May, 2017

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