Prime Minister Gaston Browne of Antigua and Barbuda has called for an end to the criticism of Muslim religion in Iraq as his administration moves ahead with plans to allow Iraqi nationals to participate in the country’s citizenship by investment programme (CIP).
The main opposition United Progressive Party (UPP) has called on the Antigua and Barbuda government to re-think its decision to allow Iraqi nationals to participate in the programme, saying “there can be no benefit to the people of Antigua and Barbuda.
“We have no cultural and we have no trade ties with Iraq. What is the benefit to opening an embassy in Baghdad? Iraq as we know is in the midst of a civil war with ISIS and ISIS is in control of large sections of Iraq. We are unnecessarily exposing our country and our people to unnecessary risk.
“Perhaps it may benefit a few individuals financially but it will not benefit the people of Antigua and Barbuda,” UPP leader Harold Lovell said recently.
But Prime Minister Browne said that the “greater risk that we face at this point is that if members of the opposition is going to mock these people’s their religion and draw attention to themselves that is a far greater risk of attracting some form of action than processing the CIP passport”.
Prime Minister Browne said that it is not in the interest of the country to provoke, saying “clearly the Caribbean is not a priority for them at this time.
“I am not saying that a terrorist could not end up in the Caribbean but it is not a priority. But if in Antigua and Barbuda…you are going to have individuals for partisan political reasons you are going to provoke them, then clearly they could be consequences.