White House statement: President looking forward to working with countries in the region to strengthen its security cooperation and counter China’s predatory economic practices
NASSAU, BAHAMAS – Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis will take part in a multilateral meeting between Caribbean Heads of State and Government and U.S. President Donald J Trump on Friday, March 22, 2019.
“The Bahamas is among a group of Caribbean leaders invited to meet with President Trump at Mar-a-Lago, Palm Beach, Florida,” outlined a statement released Wednesday from the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM).
The OPM said the Dominican Republic, the Republic of Haiti, Jamaica and Saint Lucia will also attend Friday’s meeting.
“The leaders were invited to discuss President Trump’s vision for the US’ diverse relationships in the Caribbean and potential opportunities for energy investment, and to strengthen security cooperation,” the OPM statement said.
“Other international and hemispheric issues will also be discussed. Prime Minister Minnis is also expected to raise issues of importance to The Bahamas.”
The OPM said the Prime Minister will depart Nassau on today [Thursday, 21 March 2019] for the multilateral meeting. He will be accompanied by Minister of Foreign Affairs Hon Darren Henfield, The Bahamas’ Ambassador to the US His Excellency Sidney Collie and senior government officials.
Senior Policy Advisor Joshua Sears former Ambassador of the United States and COO of the Prime Minister’s Delivery Unit Viana Gardiner will travel ahead of the Prime Minister in preparation for the meeting, the OPM statement outlined.
The OPM said Prime Minister Minnis will return to The Bahamas on Saturday, 23 March 2019 and in his absence, Minister of Transport and Local Government the Hon Renward Wells will act as Prime Minister.
Meanwhile, a statement released from the Office of the Press Secretary at the White House in Washington, DC, which was posted on the US Embassy in The Bahamas website, outlined that President Trump’s meeting with Caribbean leaders will reaffirm the United States’ strong friendship with and its commitment to these countries, and will also signal the importance of the Caribbean to the hemisphere.
“The president will discuss his vision for our diverse relationships in the Caribbean and the potential opportunities for energy investment,” the White House statement read.
“The President looks forward to working with countries in the region to strengthen our security cooperation and counter China’s predatory economic practices.
“The President will use this meeting as an opportunity to thank these countries for their support for peace and democracy in Venezuela.
“The United States remains a good friend to the Caribbean and seeks to build on a proud legacy as the region’s partner of choice,” the White House statement concluded.
Meanwhile, the Opposition Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) on Wednesday called on the prime minister to use the meeting with US President Donald Trump to the country’s advantage.
In a statement, PLP Chairman Fred Mitchell said because this is the first time that The Bahamas is being invited to such a high-level meeting, Dr. Minnis should use the meeting to point out several issues plaguing The Bahamas such as the avalanche of guns that are entering the country.