Nassau, Bahamas (May 8, 2018): Tuesday 8th May, 2018, began very early for the Hon. Mark Brantley who attended a regional breakfast meeting with the United States Acting Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Merten followed by a bilateral. Minister Brantley, while thanking the US for its support in the areas of security and energy, expressed disappointment at the lack of response and follow up to issues that are of critical importance to the Federation. The Minister explained the perception that while non-traditional partners seem to be wooing Caribbean countries, a long-standing friend appears to be retreating from engagement in a meaningful and more tactile manner that will resonate with our citizens.
Following on from that meeting, Minister Brantley also had a bilateral encounter with Romania, which is seeking support for its candidacy to the United Nations. During the cordial interface, the Minister expressed appreciation to Romania for its pledge of support for recovery in the aftermath of the Hurricane and for its staunch advocacy on behalf of the countries, including St Kitts and Nevis, blacklisted by the EU (European Union). St. Kitts and Nevis’ top diplomat also requested support within the EU arena for issues of graduation, access to concessionary funding, and correspondent banking. Minister Brantley took the opportunity to wish Romania success in its bid to membership as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC).
Romania is set to assume the presidency of the European Commission from January 2019 to June 2019 and is viewed as a viable advocate for the region and Small Island Developing States (SIDS).
The Romanian Vice Prime Minister also offered an invitation for St Kitts and Nevis to a meeting on Natural Disasters and Building Resilience Conference to be hosted in Romania in April 2019.
In the bilateral exchange with Norway, Foreign Minister Brantley also met with Minister Nikolai Astrup, Minister of International Development of Norway, to further the discussion on deepening cooperation in the context of Norway’s candidacy to the UNSC for 2021-2022 and beyond.
The Hon. Minister continues his participation in the COFCOR (Council for Foreign and Community Relations) throughout the day, before returning to the Federation.