ANTIGUA SOLIDIFIES RELATIONS WITH UAE, FORGES CLOSER TIES WITH QATAR
The Government of Antigua and Barbuda has solidified relations with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and is also forging closer ties with Qatar.
According to a statement from the government of Antigua and Barbuda issued here Saturday, Prime Minster Gaston Browne of Antigua and Barbuda met with the Minister of Culture and Knowledge
Development of the United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan.
Both leaders discussed bilateral relations and ways to enhance cooperation, particularly in the cultural, investment and tourism fields.
During the meeting, which was also attended by Charles Fernandez, Minister of Foreign Affairs, International Trade and Immigration, Sheikh Nahyan highlighted the strong bonds between the UAE and the twin-island nation.
“The opening of the Antigua and Barbuda Embassy in Abu Dhabi – the first Caribbean embassy in the UAE – will further solidify the long-standing connection between the two countries,” Fernandez said.
The two nations are witnessing rapid growth in their relationship, with visits by high-level officials and several agreements currently taking place.
The statement revealed that Browne and members of his delegation are in the UAE for a high level investment forum, which includes presentations from Special Economic Envoy for Antigua and Barbuda,
Robert De Niro; President of Arton Capital, Armand Arton; and Ambassador to the UAE Casroy James.
On Thursday, Browne and his delegation also met with the Prime Minister of Qatar, Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani and the Cultural Adviser at the Emiri Diwan, Dr. Hamad bin Abdulaziz Al Kawari.
“At the top of the agenda was the topical and heart-rending subject of the recent Haitian hurricane tragedy, for which Prime Minister Browne raised the awareness about the impact of the hurricane [Matthew] and urged the Qatari government to provide assistance where possible,” the statement said.
The Prime Minister also declared Caribbean support for Dr. Al Kawari’s candidature for the post of director general of the Paris-based United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), describing him as the “strongest candidate” for the post, the statement said.
Browne said his government wants to build “strong and deep-rooted relations with Qatar, based on mutual understanding and increasing cooperation across many fields,” according to the statement.
It said, at preceding meetings held in Doha, Browne discussed potential bilateral agreements with the Qatari Government to further strengthen these relations.
He also called on Qataris to invest in Antigua and Barbuda, “as the country enjoys not only democracy and stability but is also a very popular tourist destination.”
He added that Antigua and Barbuda is also “working hard to put infrastructure and legislation into place to ensure the stability and protection of foreign investment.”
In response, Al Kawari welcomed the backing of the Caribbean community for Qatar’s nomination “of one of its sons to the UNESCO post, because it wanted to deliver a message to the world on the importance of education and culture in establishing peace.”