PHILIPSBURG – Prime Minister Leona Romeo-Marlin returned to Sint Maarten over the weekend following a successful working visit to Curacao. While in Curacao, the Prime Minister Romeo Marlin attended the meeting of Foreign Affairs Ministers within the Kingdom of the Netherlands, held discussions on Venezuela and its impact on the Dutch Caribbean Islands, St. Maarten’s Post Hurricane Recovery efforts.
Also on the meeting, agenda were talks on European Union relations as it relates to Post 2020 negotiations on the relationship of OCT’s with the European Union and evaluating the importance of Sint Maarten participating in Regional organizations such as CARICOM, Association of Caribbean States & Overseas Countries & Territories Association.
Prime Minister Romeo-Marlin has reported that because of the successful negotiations by the Minister of Foreign Affairs Stephanus Blok, Venezuela has lifted the border blockade on trade imposed on the ABC islands. Although the impact on Sint Maarten is not as significant as the other islands, the Government of Sint Maarten continues to monitor the progress on this issue as it has an impact on immigration.
Concerning the European Union Post 2020 relations, it is Sint Maarten’s position that the time has arrived for OCT’s to let their voices be heard with a view to redefine their relationship with the EU to that of one that better takes into account their distinct needs and challenges in the ongoing dynamic global framework.
“As it relates to regional organizations, there is no one size fits all situation, internally we have different interests and engage in these organizations based on varied interests. However collectively as Kingdom Partners we should have joint positions on issues and as they arise”, said Prime Minister Romeo Marlin during the meeting.
The Prime Minister also indicated that with limited resources, now more than ever Sint Maarten has to prioritize and choose what organizations and consequently what areas are important for us in this recovery stage.