SANTO DOMINGO – On Tuesday, 25TH October, 2016, the Honourable Mark Brantley, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Aviation in the Federal Parliament of St Kitts and Nevis joins his regional counterparts in attendance at the CELAC-EU First Inter-Summit of Ministers of Foreign Affairs being convened in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, under the theme, “The Future of the Bi-Regional Partnership”. It is anticipated that all 33 Members of the Community of Latin American States (CELAC) and all 28 Member states of the European Union will be represented.

Amongst the wide array of topics to be addressed at the two-day meeting are issues of mutual interest to both regions, including Climate Change and Financing for Development. Featuring in the discussions will be ideas for strengthening the bi-regional dialogue and partnership and, an evaluation of the programmes and actions adopted in previous Summits. It is envisaged that the Foreign Ministers will engage in frank, yet cordial deliberations and conclude the meeting with two consensus documents, The Declaration of Santo Domingo and the Assessment of Programmes and Actions.

The EU is one of the region’s major development partners and engagement with this entity as a corporate, as well as with individual countries is critical, especially in the wake of the Brexit vote.

While in Santo Domingo, the Federation’s top diplomat will engage in bilateral talks with Poland and Hungary, and interface with representatives of other Caribbean and Latin American and European States on a variety of matters related to international relations. Engagements such as these offer ample opportunity for exchanging perspectives on critical global issues impacting upon the national and regional agendas.

Ms. Kaye Bass, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Aviation and Ms. Shara Maynard, Foreign Service Officer are also in Santo Domingo having participated in the 49th Meeting of Senior Officials of CELAC-EU on 24th October and the intra-CELAC Senior Officials the previous day. They, along with Mr. Fernando Lama Reyes, Honorary Consul of St Kitts and Nevis in Santo Domingo, will join Foreign Minister Brantley at the Ministerial meeting.

Minister Brantley looks forward to actively engaging in the exchanges, confident that they will allow for ventilation of sentiments and ideas that will augur well for a more healthy relationship between both sides.