Dr. Ralph Gonsalves and Mokhtar Ghenas
Bassaterre, St. Kitts – Nevis
June 08, 2009 (CUOPM)
St. Kitts and Nevis Prime Minister Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas was among leaders from the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) who met on the weekend with a delegation from Libya in St. Vincent and agreed to the establishment of a Libyan commercial bank in the sub-region.
The meeting followed talks in Libya last month between St. Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister Dr. the Hon. Ralph Gonsalves and the Libyan leader His Excellency Muammkar Al Gaddafi to advance areas of cooperation agreed upon in 2001 when some of the sub-regional leaders paid an official visit to the African country.
According to a CMC report, Dominica’s Prime Minister Hon. Roosevelt Skerrit, who had also paid an official visit to Tripoli last month, said on his return that he had been able to secure funding for a number of projects in Dominica.
According to the “Declaration of Kingstown” issued after the talks on Saturday, Libya intends to “promote its relations with the countries of the Eastern Caribbean and to contribute to raising the level of economic development in the region.”
The meeting was attended by the Prime Ministers of St. Lucia, Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada and St. Vincent and the Grenadines and the Libyan delegation headed by Special Envoy Mokhtar Ghenas.
Anguilla was also represented at the talks by Minister of Social Development Evans Mc Neil Rogers. St. Kitts and Nevis’ Minister of Works, Public Utilities and Posts, Dr. the Hon. Earl Asim Martin accompanied PM Douglas to the meeting.
The official statement said that the meeting was conducted in the context of the current global economic situation and that in addition to the proposed commercial bank, it was also agreed that Libya will establish an embassy in an OECS member state with the sub-region having a joint embassy in Tripoli.
The Declaration said that a Libyan holding company will also be established in an OECS country member states and that technical teams would be established in each OECS country with a report to be submitted by July.
Prime Minister Gonsalves later told a news conference that the reports would be used to “chart the timetable going forward as it regards the establishment of the bank” which would have branches throughout the OECS.
The St. Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister praised the Libyan leader saying that Tripoli was rewarding countries like the OECS that had resisted efforts by the United States to isolate the African country.
“The heads of Government of the Organisation of the Eastern Caribbean States expressed their deepest thanks and profound appreciation to the Leader Muammar Al Gaddafi for the attention and care he bestows on the Caribbean region,” the Declaration noted.