Argentina pledged to strengthen its relationship with the Caribbean Community (Caricom) saying that it was also looking to develop new areas of integration with the Caribbean under the paradigm of south-south cooperation, reports the Jamaica Observer from Georgetown Guyana.
Argentina’s Plenipotentiary Representative to the CARICOM, Luis Alberto Martino, who presented his letters of credentials to CARICOM Secretary General, Irwin la Rocque, said the decision of his country to re-establish a diplomatic presence in Guyana and Barbados and open new embassies in St Lucia and Suriname, underscores the move by Buenos Aires to have a greater presence in the region.
“These initiatives are part of the larger policy of closer cooperation with the region, as well as the political process within CELAC (the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States).”
He said the recent decision to accept Guyana and Suriname as Associate Members of MERCOSUR (the Southern Common Market), provides an open ground to develop a closer integration between the two regional groupings.
“By the same token, Argentina’s initiative in the region is at the heart of one of the principles in its foreign policy, the one that aims at achieving a greater regional, sub-regional and bi-regional integration, in this case, particularly between South America and the Caribbean, as a way to facilitate the development of our countries with social inclusion.
“With the reopening of our Embassy in Georgetown and the appointment of a resident representative to CARICOM, Argentina in fact hopes to strengthen the ties and develop new areas of integration with the Caribbean under the paradigm of south-south cooperation.”
He said that the Argentine Government is ready to start working toward the implementation of the agreement with Caricom to establish a Standing Joint Commission on Consultation, Cooperation and Coordination.
“This will promote and certainly consolidate cooperation between Argentina and Caricom in the political, commercial, economic, scientific, technical and cultural areas,” he said, adding that Foreign Minister Héctor Timerman will be participating in the meeting of the Council of Foreign and Community Relations (COFCOR) to be held in Georgetown next year.
“On that occasion it would be the intention of Minister Timerman to refer to the political situation in the region and to convey the vision of the Argentine Government on this matter. He would also wish to reaffirm the proposal of our Government to Caricom for the establishment of a regional office in Buenos Aires.”
La Rocque welcomed the decision by Argentina to re-establish a presence in the region saying it is a testament to the commitment of Argentina to the deepening of relations with Caricom.