TT, US SOUTHCOM to co-host Caribbean security conference

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, left, during his meeting with Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley in the US. – Photo courtesy Office of the Prime Minister.

TRINIDAD and Tobago will partner with the US Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) in hosting a Caribbean security conference later this year.

This was disclosed in a US Department of Defense (DoD) readout on Tuesday, after the Prime Minister met with senior US government and military officials at the Pentagon in Washington, DC on Monday.

The readout was provided by DoD spokesman, Lt Col Devin T. Robinson.

He said, “The DoD leaders expressed appreciation for Trinidad and Tobago’s leadership in the Caribbean Community and in co-hosting the Caribbean Nations Security Conference alongside US SOUTHCOM in November 2024.

Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, Melissa Dalton, underscored the DoD’s strong support of the US defense partnership with Trinidad and Tobago.

Illicit trafficking and maritime security, defense force modernization and training, cyber security and frameworks to facilitate expanded bilateral security cooperation were among the issues discussed at the meeting.

Robinson said the meeting also acknowledged the partnership between the Trinidad and Tobago Defence Force (TTDF) and the Delaware National Guard, celebrates its 20th anniversary this year through the State Partnership Program.

The meeting concluded with a reaffirmation of the US and the DoD’s commitment to partnership with Trinidad and Tobago and “working together to improve Caribbean regional security and intelligence.”

Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister Stuart Young, Foreign and Caricom Affairs Minister Dr Amery Browne, TT Ambassador to the US Anthony Phillips-Spencer and TTDF Chief of Staff, Air Vice Marshall Darryl Daniel accompanied Dr Rowley to the meeting.

Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Western Hemisphere Affairs. Daniel Erikson, US Ambassador to TT Candace Bond, , Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Cyber Policy Mieke Eoyang and Col Robert Creason, Americas Division Chief, Western Hemisphere were among the US government officials at the meeting.

After this meeting, Rowley and his delegation met with Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) director William Burns at the agency’s headquarters in Langley, Virginia.

Rowley left Trinidad and Tobago for Washington, DC, on Sunday.

He is scheduled to hold a series of meetings there with US government representatives and officials on a series of matters of mutual interest.

Finance Minister Colm Imbert will act as prime minister until Rowley returns home.