Basseterre, St. Kitts, December 21, 2015 (SKNIS): The Government of St. Kitts and Nevis, and by extension the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), has embarked upon a programme aimed at increasing the value of the country’s passports, said Deputy Premier of Nevis and Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Honourable Mark Brantley, during the 2016 Budget debate.
“We have embarked on an aggressive approach to say that we will increase the value of our passports, not just for the purposes of the Citizenship by Investment (CBI) programme, but for our own purposes,” he said. “Purposes for the man from Keys and Basseterre and Brown Hill to say that he should be able to travel the world on this document of national identity which is the St. Kitts and Nevis passport.”
Minister Brantley stated that there are many countries that are willing to offer the twin-island Federation visa free entry to their shores and said that MOFA is more than open to this gesture, as it is “the arm of Government that is charged with the responsibility of formulating, coordinating, monitoring and realizing the Federation’s foreign policy.”
He made mention of Brazil, that earlier this year granted St. Kitts and Nevis visa free travel, and confirmed that the ministry is currently working on a few more.
“We are in advanced discussion with places like Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Ukraine, Russia and some African Nations,” said the foreign minister. “We have taken those discussions on the guidance of the Cabinet because it is important for us to enhance the value and reputation of our national document which is our passport. These are some of the efforts that we have embarked upon.”
Minister Brantley paid recognition to the staff of Foreign Affairs, stating that it is critical to have capable and competent personnel, who will be the vanguard, articulating the country’s best interest, forging networks throughout the world and promulgating international relation policies for the benefit of the people of St. Kitts and Nevis.
“Steadfast to this goal Mr. Deputy Speaker, the ministry has been committed to recruiting qualified personnel, people with potential and promise who we expect to serve with fervor and passion to defend our beliefs, advocate our causes, and garner international support for expected results,” he said.