ST. KITTS-POLITICS-St. Kitts-Nevis Foreign Minister does not regard meeting with Pompeo as dividing CARICOM.


Foreign Affairs Minister Mark Brantley says St. Kitts-Nevis does not regard the move by the United States to invite some regional countries to a meeting in Jamaica with US Secretary of State, Michael Pompeo, as a means of dividing the 15-member regional integration movement and that Basseterre should it attend would use its presence at the talks to pursue outstanding bilateral issues.

'Well the Secretary of State for the United States has extended an invitation to St. Kitts-Nevis at the foreign minister level and we are carefully looking at that because we have some very important bilateral issues with the United States.

'It is very likely that we will seek to attend ...unless something would change,' Brantley said in an interview on the WINN FM radio station here.

Pompeo, who is visiting several countries in Latin America, said his two-day visit to Kingston from Tuesday, will allow 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.

Over the weekend, Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley, who is also the chairman of the 15-member Caribbean Community (CARICOM), warned of the attempt to divide the regional grouping.

'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,' Mottley told a gala to celebrate the centenary of the birth of the late Barbados prime minister and regional integrationist, Errol W. Barrow.

He said while it is not for him to respond to Mottley's statement, 'I think that each country has bilateral interests.

'The United States continues to be a very significant partner...and as you well aware since 2015 when I became Foreign Minister, it has been my charge from the Cabinet to try and repair relations with the United States because we inherited a situation where relations...were at...

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