The European Partnership Agreement (EPA) and the establishment of a textbook loan scheme were among the issues discussed recently when Prime Minister of Grenada, Tillman Thomas, met with Prime Minister of Barbados, David Thompson.
The meeting, which took place at the Parliament Buildings, Bridgetown, Barbados, was also attended by Minister of Foreign Affairs and Tourism, Peter David and Minister of Finance, Planning, Economic Development, Energy and Foreign Trade, Nazim Burke, of Grenada; and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and International Business, Chris Sinckler, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office, Senator Maxine McClean, Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office, Senator Darcy Boyce, and Ambassador Denis Kellman.
With respect to the EPA, Prime Minister Thompson said that there were very important decisions that had to be made within the region. He pointed out that Barbados had already expressed its position, and was not bullying anybody or even attempting to, into accepting its position.
“We believe very strongly that there are some advantages for our country and the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Christopher Sinckler, stressed the areas of similarity between Barbados and Grenada and those differences that may cause some division,” he stated.
Prime Minister Tillman added that Grenada really wanted to strengthen the ties of regional cooperation in different areas and had, in particular, welcomed the briefing by Minister Sinckler on the EPA.
“We are looking forward to working with Barbados and other CARICOM countries to strengthen ties within the region so that we could build a region where we all could be proud as people of the Caribbean,” Mr. Tillman said.
The discussions also centred around the introduction of a text book loan scheme by the Grenadian government, as part of its poverty alleviation programme. Prime Minister Thompson said that such an initiative would benefit from whatever resources and technical assistance the Barbados government could provide.
He also suggested that it would be timely for officials from Grenada to visit Barbados, since books were being distributed under the local scheme at this time of the year, and they would therefore be able to get a true perspective on how the programme could actually be implemented.
During his short visit to Barbados, Prime Minister Thomas and the other members of his delegation also visited the HMBS PELICAN, and the Paragon Base of the Regional Security System.