Antigua and Barbuda supports position taken by PM Mottley

Antigua and Barbuda has become the latest Caribbean Community (CARICOM) country to support the position taken by CARICOM Chairman and Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley and has not sent a representative to the announced meeting with US Secretary State Michael Pompeo in Jamaica on Tuesday.

“We are very much in support of and identify with the sentiments expressed by the CARICOM Chair, PM Mottley of Barbados. As a government, we stand in support of this position, ” Foreign Minister E.P Chet Greene, said in a statement.

Last weekend, Prime Minister Mottley speaking at a ceremony here to honour the island’s former prime minister and regionalist, the late Errol Barrow, said “as chairman of CARICOM, it is impossible for me to agree that my Foreign Minister should attend a meeting with anyone to which members of CARICOM are not invited. If some are invited and not all, then it is an attempt to divide this region”.

Trinidad and Tobago’s Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley also issued a statement late Monday, supporting Mottley’s position saying she had the “full support of the government and the people of Trinidad and Tobago in outlining our principles and vision of Caribbean unity.
“In the expectation of Caribbean unity, the Prime Minister of Barbados speaks for Trinidad and Tobago,” he added.
Pompeo, who is visiting several countries in Latin America, said his two-day visit to Kingston, will allow him to meet with “many Caribbean leaders to discuss how we can all work together to promote our common democratic values and prosperity for all of our people,” adding “I’m looking forward to a fantastic set of meetings”.

Pompeo said he would also participate in a round table with the foreign ministers of Bahamas, Belize, Dominican Republic, Haiti, St. Kitts and Nevis, and St. Lucia.
Another issue on the table will be the current situation in Venezuela as Washington continues to lead the efforts to remove President Nicolas Maduro from office in the South American country in support of the Opposition Leader Juan Guaido.
At their summit in St. Lucia last July, CARICOM leaders agreed to maintain their position of non-interference and non-intervention in the internal affairs of Venezuela and agreed also “that mediation-related activities would be continued to be pursued by the Prime Ministers of St Kitts and Nevis, Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago”.
Meanwhile, Barbados’ Ambassador to CARICOM David Comissiong, in support of the position adopted by Bridgetown, said Mottley took the correct position in maintaining that if all CARICOM member states were not invited, Barbados could not in all good conscience, accept an invitation to attend.