|Prime Minister Freundel Stuart and French Ambaasador, Jacques Sturm??exploring ways in which to forge closer ties between Barbados and France. (C. Pitt/BGIS)??|
Barbados is keen to deepen relations with France.
Prime Minister Freundel Stuart made this assertion on Tuesday when France’s Ambassador to Barbados, Jacques Sturm, paid him a courtesy call at Parliament Buildings.
Mr. Stuart said both countries had a long diplomatic relationship, dating back to 1968. He stressed that France "has been a good partner" to Barbados, and noted that, for example, this island’s police and defence forces had benefited from that cooperation.
Ambassador Sturm said the policy of the present French Government has been to actively promote a new outreach policy for Martinique, Guadeloupe and French Guiana, whereby they were building relationships with countries and regional organisations within their geographic locations.
Prime Minister Stuart welcomed the move and said he looked forward to working closely with the territories.
The Ambassador said he was pleased that LIAT had decided to purchase the ATR planes, built by the French-Italian aircraft manufacturer ATR, to add to its fleet. He stressed that "they are good planes" and described the decision to use them as "a good choice".
He lauded Barbados’ tourism product, proffering the view that Barbados had done better than many others in the area of cultural tourism. In this regard, he disclosed that he had already visited a number of attractions on the island and stressed that it was important to be different from one’s competitors.
During the meeting, Prime Minister Stuart and Ambassador Sturm discussed the UNESCO World Heritage Property – Historic Bridgetown and its Garrison – and the training of multilingual guides for the area, among other things.
Ambassador Sturm also has responsibility for Trinidad and is based in Port of Spain.