T&T probing Dominica OAS dues debacle

Dennis Moses

(Trinidad Express) Foreign and CARICOM Affairs Minister Dennis Moses has responded to the criticism and concern over Trinidad and Tobago’s decision to object to Dominica’s request for a waiver of its fees to the Organization of American States in the wake of the destruction caused by the hurricane in September 2017.

The position adopted by T&T’s permanent representative to the OAS Anthony Phillips-Morgan has sparked outrage locally and placed the country in an embarrassing position internationally.

In a statement yesterday afternoon, Moses said: “A suggestion by a public servant at an OAS meeting that Dominica’s dues not be collected at this time but be deferred to some future time in no way reflects any change in our demonstrated concern for the welfare of the people of Dominica”.

Moses said: “In an unqualified way, the Ministry of Foreign and CARICOM Affairs regrets the misrepresentation of the position of Trinidad and Tobago offered by a public official of Trinidad and Tobago during a meeting of the Permanent Council of the Organisation of American States (OAS) which was held on the 23rd March, 2018, relative to a request from Dominica for a waiver of its financial contribution to that Organization for the years 2018 to 2019.

Currently, an investigation into the briefing arrangements of the public official and the circumstances involved in the discussion at the OAS is underway. Shortly a report, as requested, would be made available to the Honourable Prime Minister”.

Moses said Trinidad and Tobago’s solidarity with the people of Dominica is without question.

“Our actions, cooperation (be it technical, financial or diplomatic) with Dominica and advocacy overtime, most recently in the advent and aftermath of hurricanes, Erika and Maria attest to the strong and abiding relationship between Dominica and Trinidad and Tobago.

The position presented at the OAS that of our country, Trinidad and Tobago, is not aligned with the actions, policy or orientation of Trinidad and Tobago towards Dominica.

Our unswerving commitment is that the fraternal bond that unites us as CARICOM Member States and peoples of the Caribbean continue to be further strengthened.

I wish to reiterate our unwavering support for Dominica, tangibly demonstrated in our recent aid and expressions of empathy to that country”.

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