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Trinidad & Tobago’s Ambassador to the U.S. Amb. Parsan organizes visit of CARICOM Caucus to Delaware

WASHINGTON, DC – Culture, education, trade and development were some of the areas addressed by the CARICOM Caucus of Ambassadors in Washington, DC during their Courtesy Visit with Governor Jack Markell, the Governor of “The First State” – Delaware. The Caucus met with Governor Markell on October 9, 2013 at the historic Buena Vista Mansion in New Castle, Delaware.

The Caucus was represented by His Excellency Dr. Neil Parsan (Chair, Trinidad and Tobago), Her Excellency Deborah Mae Lovell (Ambassador, Antigua and Barbuda), His Excellency Nestor Mendez (Ambassador, Belize), His Excellency Hubert Charles (Ambassador, Dominica), Her Excellency Sonia Johnny (Ambassador, Saint Lucia), Her Excellency Niermala Badrising (Ambassador, Permanent Representative of Suriname to the Organization of American States) as well as Ms. Ariel Bowen (Minister Counsellor, Jamaica), Mr. Omari Williams (Deputy Chief of Mission, St. Vincent and the Grenadines), Mr. Forbes July (Deputy Chief of Mission, Guyana) and Mr. William Exantus (Deputy Chief of Mission, Haiti).

CARICOM Caucus in Delaware

The Chairman of the Caucus, His Excellency Dr. Neil Parsan, opened the meeting by thanking Governor Markell for agreeing to meet with the Caucus and for the warm hospitality that was extended to the group. He then gave a brief background of CARICOM and highlighted the economic similarities that CARICOM and Delaware share. Ambassador Parsan also expressed an interest in partnering with Delaware on the development of alternative energy in the Caribbean region and in the development of a regional financial services sector.

In discussing the area of culture, Ambassador Lovell mentioned that the Caribbean region has the highest Nobel laureates per capita, with Nobel Prize winners hailing from Trinidad and Tobago and Saint Lucia, to name a few. She emphasized to Governor Markell that there were many possible areas for collaboration that could be explored further.

Both Ambassador Charles and Ambassador Mendez addressed the issue of collaboration in higher education, with Ambassador Mendez emphasizing that the Caucus was interested in exploring with the Governor “what we can do together.”

The Courtesy Call preceded a lunch with state and local government officials, hosted by Governor Markell in honour of the Caucus. Attendees included the Mayor of Wilmington, Dennis Williams, Senator Bryan Townsend and several members of the Delaware National Guard. Trinidad and Tobago and Delaware share a close relationship in the area of security – the Delaware National Guard has had a partnership programme with the Trinidad and Tobago Defence Force since July 2005. Both agencies participate in subject matter exchanges that include topics ranging from critical infrastructure protection to human trafficking.

The Courtesy Call was initiated by Ambassador Parsan as part of his “Outreach for Business Promotion” exercise which took the Caucus to the cities of Philadelphia, Baltimore, New Castle and Richmond from October 7-9, 2013.

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