BASETERRE, ST. KITTS. NOVEMBER 30TH 2013 (CUOPM) – The recent statement by opposition elements in St. Kitts and Nevis concerning an alleged diplomatic row between St. Kitts and Nevis and Canada is erroneous and misleading, and is intended to bring the Federation’s very successful Citizenship by Investment Programme into disrepute to advance the political agenda of the so-called Unity Party at the expense of the thousands of nationals who benefit from the programme.
“The Government states unreservedly and unequivocally that there has been no diplomatic row or uproar involving St. Kitts and Nevis and Canada over the issuance of diplomatic passports,” a statement from the Office of the Prime Minister said on Friday.
It said that only persons duly appointed as diplomats of the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis are authorized to carry diplomatic passports of St. Kitts and Nevis.
“No diplomatic passport of St. Kitts and Nevis has even been issued to any person other than officials of the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis holding diplomatic positions. Diplomatic passports are not issued as part of the Citizenship by Investment Programme. Hence it is not possible to obtain a diplomatic passport by making an investment or by any form of payment or consideration,” the statement added.
“Diplomatic appointments are made on the recommendation of Cabinet after a very careful selection process aimed at ensuring that the persons selected are of good character and possess the capacity to advance the development of the Federation through effective representation overseas. Neither the Minister of Foreign Affairs nor the Prime Minister nor any other Minister of the Government is authorized to make such appointments except with the approval of Cabinet,” said the statement.
It added that the publication by opposition elements in St. Kitts and Nevis of false and misleading statements concerning this matter “ is irresponsible and reckless and is intended to undermine the immense development impact of this programme in St. Kitts and Nevis especially in relation to the employment of our young people under the People Employment Programme (PEP), our consumers of gas and electricity, our tourism enterprises, our prospective homeowners, our young entrepreneurs, our former sugar workers, and the most vulnerable among us.”