KINGSTON, Jamaica – Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator the Honourable Kamina Johnson Smith, has dismissed recent media reports of a “diplomatic row” between Jamaica and the United States.
In accordance with diplomatic practice, and within the ambit of its Constitution, Jamaica grants privileges and immunities to incoming diplomats, their staff and families, to either reside in or visit the country. All requests made to the Foreign Ministry are considered within this context.
Members of staff from both countries continue to reside and work in each other’s territory, and are expected to observe the laws of their host country.
Minister Johnson Smith emphasized that Jamaica has always complied with procedures and set term limits for the length of stay of diplomats within the United States.
“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade has complied with these procedures, and has in fact conducted its customary rotation exercise. Heads of Jamaican missions in the United States whose tenure will come naturally to an end later this year, are already preparing for their transition,” the Minister said.
Importance of Maintaining Diplomacy
Minister Johnson Smith emphasized that; “The Government of Jamaica recognizes the importance of maintaining the traditions and practices of diplomacy, which have long ensured a seamless relationship with the diplomatic community, and supported vibrant and admirable relation with the United States for over sixty years.” She further observed that; “The people-to-people relations between Jamaica and the United States have been a most successful area of cooperation, and we look forward to their continuation. There is no diplomatic row between Jamaica and the United States, as we continue to enjoy strong and positive diplomatic relations.”