KINGSTON, Jamaica, March 17, 2015 (AMG) — US President Barack Obama will pay a one-day state visit to Jamaica on April 9, where he will meet with CARICOM Heads of Government in advance of the April 10-11 Summit of the Americas in Panama City.
The President’s visit was confirmed by Jamaican Prime Minister Portia Simpson-Miller in an address to parliament earlier today.
A media statement later issued by Simpson-Miller’s office revealed that in addition to holding talks on Jamaica-US bilateral issues, the President will also meet with CARICOM Heads of Government to discuss broader regional cooperation issues.
The CARICOM encounter will be co-chaired by Simpson-Miller and Bahamian Prime Minister Perry Christie, who currently serves as CARICOM Chair.
This is the second high-level pivot from the Obama administration to Caribbean governments, following the Caribbean Energy Security Summit held in January 2015, which was chaired by US Vice-President Joe Biden.
The full media statement from the Office of the Prime Minister of Jamaica is below:
The Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller is pleased to announce that His Excellency Barack Obama, President of the United States of America, will pay a State Visit to Jamaica on 9th April 2015.
President Obama and Prime Minister Simpson Miller will hold bilateral discussions on a range of issues of mutual interest.
During the visit, Jamaica will host an encounter between President Obama and the Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) for discussions on issues on the CARICOM-USA agenda, including security and trade. They will also exchange views on regional and international issues of mutual interest.
The CARICOM-US encounter will be co-chaired by Honourable Perry Christie, Prime Minister of the Bahamas and current Chairman of CARICOM, and President Obama.
In welcoming the visit, Prime Minister Simpson Miller noted:
“The Government of Jamaica is delighted that President Obama will be visiting Jamaica at this time.
It will mark the second time since our Independence that a sitting US President will be visiting Jamaica.
We view the President’s upcoming visit as an affirmation of the strong ties of friendship and cooperation that have united our two peoples for centuries.
We are confident that through fruitful dialogue and exchanges during the visit we will succeed in further strengthening the close relations that exist at the bilateral level between Jamaica and the USA, and between the USA and CARICOM.”
President Obama and the CARICOM Heads of Government are expected to proceed from the high-level encounter in Jamaica to Panama City for the Sixth Summit of the Americas to be held 10th to 11th April 2015.