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Date: 08 Feb, 2016
Source: Barbados Government Information Service

Prime Minister Freundel Stuart has described the near 50-year relationship between Barbados and the United States of America (USA) as a mutually beneficial one which has “grown from strength to strength”.

And Mr. Stuart said he had every reason to believe that the future of this relationship remains bright.

He made the comments recently when the new US Ambassador, Linda Taglialatela, paid him a courtesy call at Government Headquarters.

Those present included Deputy Chief of Mission, Laura Griesmer; Political and Economic Counselor, Nicholle Manz-Baazaoui; and Permanent Secretary in the Prime Minister’s Office, Sonja Welch.

The Prime Minister pointed out that Barbados would be celebrating its 50th Anniversary of Independence this year and a number of iconic events were being planned.

Remarking that he had seen the country transformed from a village to a nation, he noted, for example, that the infrastructure had been vastly revolutionised and that Barbados continued to benefit from a highly literate population.

He stressed that Barbadians had a lot to be proud of, and the country’s development has shown that size is not a determinant of capacity to give history “a nudge”. He noted that Barbados and the USA, as well as other partners like the United Kingdom and Canada, were celebrating 50 years of diplomatic relations this year.

Ambassador Taglialatela said the USA was excited about Barbados’ jubilee anniversary and promised that as one of its partners, it would participate in the celebrations.

The envoy thanked the Prime Minister for his contribution during the recent climate change discussions in Paris. She stressed that the US would continue to work with Barbados and support its efforts in this area.

Mr. Stuart responded by saying that climate change for small island developing countries was a “lived experience” and governments had to incur additional expenditure because of the issues associated with it. He noted that climate change was causing significant disruption to people’s lives.

He continued: “In Paris we worked closely with the USA…and forged the kind of relationship which allowed us to speak with one voice and we ended up getting what we wanted.”