Minister of Foreign and Caricom Affairs Dr Amery Browne – File photo by Roger Jacob
FOREIGN and Caricom Affairs Minister Dr Amery Browne held a series of meetings in Washington, DC, with US lawmakers and members of the TT diaspora on Thursday, to discuss several matters of mutual interest.
A statement issued by the ministry on Thursday said Brown first met with US House of Representatives minority leader Congressman Hakeem Jeffries at the US Capitol Building.
They discussed migration, violent crime, terrorism, the situation in Haiti, and opportunities for co-operation that will further strengthen Trinidad and Tobago-US bilateral relations at both the national and regional levels.
Browne then met with US Virgin Islands representative Congresswoman Stacy Plaskett.
The ministry said Browne and Plaskett advanced similar views on matters such as the spread of violent crime in Caricom, the situation in Haiti and the challenges of preserving correspondent banking relations.
Browne used his meeting with Plaskett to highlight the importance of a Caricom symposium on crime as a public health concern, to be hosted by TT later this year. Last year, the Prime Minister spoke about the need to address crime as a public health concern.
Browne thanked Congressman Steven Horsford for his advocacy on TT’s behalf to acquire covid19 vaccines during the covid19 pandemic. In his talks with Horsford, Browne reminded him about the US being a source of illegal firearms into Caricom.
Horsford expressed interest in the recent proclamation of amendments to the Immigration (Caribbean Community Skilled Nationals) Act 2022, which expands the categories of workers eligible for free movement within the Caricom region under the Caricom Single Market and Economy (CSME) from five to 12.
Horsford also expressed interest in visting TT with a US congressional delegation in the near future and collaborating in efforts to strengthen TT’s tourism brands in the US.
Browne met with 60 leaders from the TT Diaspora in the US. This meeting was a hybrid one, with some leaders meeting Browne in person and others attending virtually.
He thanked them for their continued efforts to help TT and the ministry’s commitment to the diaspora.
Browne said the latter was reflected in the establishment of a diaspora affairs unit in the ministry and ongoing work on a draft national diaspora policy.
He added that members of the diaspora are free to provide their inputs on this draft policy.