Barbados PM Warns of Attempts to Divide the Caribbean Amid US Secretary of State Visit

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (CMC) – Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley has warned of the attempt to divide the 15-member Caribbean Community (CARICOM) grouping as some regional leaders get ready to meet with United States Secretary of State Michael Pompeo on Tuesday.

Addressing a gala to celebrate the centenary of the birth of the late Barbados prime minister and regional integrationist Errol W Barrow Saturday night, Mottley said she is conscious that in the next week questions will be asked as to whether the Barbados foreign minister “happened to be missing in a meeting in Kingston in Jamaica that will take place on Tuesday”.

“We don’t look to pick fights. I don’t look to pick fights, but I am conscious that if this country does not stand for something then it will fall for anything. As chairman of CARICOM it is impossible for me to agree that my foreign minister should attend a meeting with anyone to which members of CARICOM are not invited. If some are invited and not all, then it is an attempt to divide this region,” Mottley told the ceremony.

Earlier this week Jamaica’s Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Minister Kamina Johnson Smith said Pompeo’s two-day working visit, which begins on January 21, is a commitment to strengthen relations with the Caribbean.

Local newspapers said Pompeo is also due to meet with several Caribbean leaders, but a CARICOM source told the Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC) that the regional grouping had not been formally invited to participate in the discussions during Pompeo’s visit.

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