The UK’s Minister of State with responsibility for the Caribbean and the Commonwealth, Lord Ahmad, paid his first official visit to Barbados on 8 November, to further strengthen the excellent relations between the two countries and progress issues of mutual interest.
This formed part of a three-day visit to the Caribbean, which also included Trinidad and Tobago and Jamaica.
In Barbados, Lord Ahmad’s engagements included official meetings with Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Freundel Stuart, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator the Hon. Maxine McClean; and International Business Minister, the Hon. Donville Inniss. Lord Ahmad also visited the Regional Security System (RSS) and met with representatives from the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA), CARICOM, and members of the local business community.
Discussions were productive and wide-ranging, and included the 2018 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, post-Brexit trading arrangements with the region, and joint efforts to combat organised crime across the Eastern Caribbean.
Lord Ahmad was also pleased to be able to thank Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Freundel Stuart personally, for Barbados’ invaluable assistance in support of the UK’s hurricane relief efforts totalling almost £65 million; by acting as the base for the coordination of UK military forces and the transportation of UK Aid to islands affected by Irma and Maria.
In an official statement released via the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Minister said, “The UK and Caribbean share a long rich history with shared values, common interests and an interwoven history”, further expressing the UK’s desire to nurture and develop its relationship with Barbados and the region.
He stated, “We are and will remain strong partners in trade and will continue to cooperate to combat organised crime and counterterrorism to ensure our citizens’ security and protect our way of life.”