British Foreign Minister Calls On Local Foreign Affairs Office

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Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs, Steve Blackett in talks with Minister of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Jeremy Browne.

Ways in which this country and Britain can work together to strengthen relations and resolve outstanding issues were discussed yesterday, when Minister of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in the United Kingdom (UK), Jeremy Browne, paid a courtesy call on acting Minister of Foreign Affairs, Steve Blackett, at the Ministry’s Culloden Road headquarters.

High on the agenda was the air passenger duty (APD) tax imposed on persons flying out of Britain into Barbados.?? In response to the concerns expressed by Mr. Blackett, the Foreign Minister indicated that he was aware of the challenges the tax had placed on Barbados’ tourism product and that his office was working to resolve the issue.

The officials also talked about fostering closer collaborative efforts between the two countries as it relates to immigration, the development of projects in the area of alternative and renewable energy, and such consular issues as offences committed against British tourists on the island.

Mr. Browne praised the contribution that Barbadians had made to the public sector in England during the 1950s, particularly in the areas of nursing and transport and assured Minister Blackett that his country had a strong commitment to Barbados.???? The acting Minister of Foreign Affairs added that the remittances from those workers contributed significantly to Barbados’ foreign reserves.

Mr. Browne is the first British Minister from the new UK coalition government to visit Barbados.?? He is expected to meet with officials in Trinidad and Tobago and Jamaica after concluding talks here.????

kmoore@barbados.gov.bb

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