Suriname foreign minister tones down attack on US envoy

(de Ware Tijd) PARAMARIBO – Minister of Foreign Affairs, Winston Lackin, at a press briefing yesterday, presented a much weaker version of the harsh words uttered by President Desi Bouterse on Tuesday.
The Minister explained that the president’s fierce words were to show that Suriname would like to protect its image as country where fair elections are held. At the commemoration of the military coup of 25 February 1980 Bouterse had seriously criticized American ambassador Jay Anania for interfering in domestic affairs. The president had made clear that Anania would have to account for his statements about the upcoming elections and if his explanation was not considered satisfactory he would be expelled.
Lackin explained that Bouterse was expressing his concerns about other news that had been reported to him. He emphasized the president was not angry with Anania for visiting the Minister of Home Affairs and the Electoral Authority because these were scheduled meetings and done according to normal protocol. However, the president received information from other sources which have led to his concern. The Minister did not go into detail about the concerns. Lackin had told de Ware Tijd on Tuesday that the ambassador’s fate would be decided after his meeting with the president. Anania was invited on Wednesday to discuss the matter with Lackin, but since he is absent his office confirmed he will meet the Minister on Monday.

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