The first Argentine resident Plenipotentiary Represen-tative to the Caribbean Community (Caricom), Luis Alberto Martino, on Monday, expressed his country’s willingness to strengthen ties with Caricom.
A release from the Caricom Secretariat said that the envoy was speaking at a ceremony at the Caricom Secretariat, Tur-keyen, where he presented his letters of credence to Caricom Secretary General, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque.
Martino reported that Argentina was in the process of re-opening embassies in Guyana and Barbados, and establishing embassies in St Lucia and Suriname, as part of a larger policy of closer south-south cooperation with the region, as well as the political process within the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (Celac).
He also referred to the recent incorporation of Guyana and Suriname as associated members of the Southern Common Market (Mercosur), which he said would cause closer integration between the two regional bodies of Caricom and Mercosur.
He announced the Argentine government’s intention to work toward implementing an “Agree-ment between the Argen-tine Republic and the Caribbean Community to establish a Standing Joint Commission on Consulta-tion, Cooperation and Coordination,” which he said would promote and consolidate cooperation between Argentina and Caricom in the political, commercial, economic, scientific, technical and cultural areas.
Ambassador LaRocque, in his remarks at the ceremony, welcomed the envoy and said the re-opening of embassies as well as the establishment of new missions in Caricom member states were testaments to the commitment of Argentina to the deepening of relations with Caricom.
The Secretary General referred to “the unwavering support that Argentina has given to Haiti in the aftermath of that country’s 2010 earthquake, in addition to the areas for cooperation being developed between Argentina and Caricom Member States at the bilateral level, all send a very powerful message of Argentina’s determination to enhance its relations with the Region.”
He cited one of the avenues by which Caricom and Argentina can pursue their relations is a Caricom-Argentina Joint Commission and anticipated Argentina’s cooperation on issues of mutual importance in international fora.
LaRocque said, “We also feel confident that with increased technical cooperation, cultural links will evolve creating opportunities for greater interaction between the people of Argentina and the Caribbean Community.”