Tuesday 26 May, 2020

US and T&T on good terms, Foreign Ministry says

From left to right: US Ambassador Joseph Mondello, Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley.

From left to right: US Ambassador Joseph Mondello, Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley.

The Government says Trinidad and Tobago’s relationship with the United States is not in jeopardy contrary to concerns raised by some quarters.

In a statement on Friday, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs explained that the country remains engaged with the US with frequent high-level contacts between the Foreign Affairs Minister, National Security Minister and Prime Minister for diplomatic purposes. It added that a “cordial” meeting between the trio and US Ambassador Joseph Mondello took place as recently as Wednesday.

The release went on to note that included in the wide-ranging discussions was T&T’s desire to further protect its maritime space but being constrained by the limited availability of suitable offshore marine assets.

“To this end Trinidad and Tobago requested from the United States the further sharing of any and all pertinent information which may come to its attention with respect to any illicit activity which may occur within the territorial or deep ocean areas over which Trinidad and Tobago has jurisdiction,” the Foreign Affairs Ministry ended.

The Government has been under fire for allowing Venezuela's Vice President Delcy Rodriguez to visit the country in March despite her being sanctioned by Washington.

The Opposition had criticised the visit and called on the US to probe claims that the Paria Fuel Trading Company sold fuel to Aruba that allegedly arrived in Venezuela. US officials said this would open the country up to sanctions and expressed concern that the country breached the Rio Treaty, which the Government has denied. This ongoing public discourse implies that there has been a strain in the relationship between both nations.

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