St. Kitts-Nevis engages with Swaziland in margins of CHOGM
LONDON – Continuing a robust bilateral agenda in the margins of the 25th Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) taking place in London April 16-20, the Hon. Mark Brantley, St. Kitts and Nevis’ foreign minister, met with the Hon. Mbuso Clement Dlamini, acting minister of foreign affairs of Swaziland.
During a very cordial and friendly engagement, Brantley drew comparison between St. Kitts and Nevis and Swaziland, highlighting that they are the smallest countries in the Caribbean and Africa, respectively. He used this fact as a rationale for engaging, not only as country to country, but on a greater scale of region to region. Minister Brantley stated that “while, due to geography, we have looked north for cooperation, we share common historical reasons why we should look south to increase and enhance our interaction.” He further indicated that whereas St. Kitts-Nevis has convened summits with countries such as Germany, Mexico and Turkey, it is opportune and practical for Caribbean-Africa summits.
The ministers also discussed possibilities for cultural cooperation and deepened engagement, especially in preparation for the post-Cotonou era.
Before concluding the brief encounter, the St. Kitts and Nevis minister expressed a keen interest in encouraging people-to-people contacts through the signing of a visa waiver agreement between both countries. The Swaziland minister welcomed this proposal and indicated a high probability that this can occur this year during the upcoming General Assembly in New York.
Accompanying Minister Brantley to the meeting were Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Kaye Bass; St. Kitts and Nevis’ High Commissioner to the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland H.E. Kevin Isaac and Minister Counsellor at St. Kitts and Nevis’ High Commission in London Elsa Wilkin Armbrister.