Prime Minister Freundel Stuart identified Costa Rica as a like-minded country with which CARICOM should deepen relations in areas such as trade, education and cultural exchanges.

The Prime Minister was speaking recently on behalf of CARICOM at a meeting with the President of Costa Rica, Luis Guillermo Solis, held in the margins of the United Nations General Assembly.

Mr. Stuart noted that the recent meeting of the CARICOM-Costa Rica Council, held in Trinidad and Tobago in June, showed the commitment of both parties to forging ahead to create opportunities for cooperation.

He said that at that meeting, CARICOM countries and Costa Rica had identified some obstacles to enhanced trade and had committed to removing them.??Prime Minister Stuart also highlighted the fact that Costa Rica and CARICOM were working towards a common objective at the major international climate change meeting scheduled to take place later this year in Paris.

The active participation by both countries in the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States was also noted.??President Solis welcomed the development of relations between his country and CARICOM, and proposed that they develop a strategic alliance to deepen them further.

He suggested focusing cooperation on the Costa Rican province of Lim??n, which is located on the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica and has long had a strong cultural connection with the Caribbean. The President also shared with CARICOM the fact that his grandmother was of Jamaican origin.??Mr. Solis further proposed that a formal summit with CARICOM Heads of Government could develop and adopt a road map for cooperation.

During their discussions, the two sides also agreed to work on the holding of a conference on the multidimensional approaches to poverty eradication in the very near future.??The Prime Minister also extended an invitation to Costa Rica to consider participation in the upcoming CARIFESTA 2017, which is to be held in Barbados.

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