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UK cements ties with incoming Jamaican government

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

The following news item appeared in the Jamaica Gleaner, Tuesday September 11, 2007


Britain’s Foreign Office Minister, Margaret (Meg) Munn yesterday cemented the continuation of diplomatic ties with the incoming Government of Jamaica as she wrapped up a four-day working visit to the island.


Mrs. Munn, who is the Parliamentary Undersecretary of State, met with Prime Minister-designate Bruce Golding, yesterday.


"Obviously with the elections, this is a time of change, we were keen to talk to the new government as soon as possible about the continuation of the lot of work that we are doing with Jamaica," she told The Gleaner. "It (Jamaica) is a key area for us in the Caribbean."


She said some of the issues discussed with the new administration were those relating to criminality, governance and trade. Addressing the issue of deportation of Jamaican-born hardened criminals from the United Kingdom, the Parliamentary Undersecretary said the U.K. recognises the challenges faced by the receiving country and expressed the willingness to work with the Government to address this.


"We know that there are links between crime in Jamaica and crimes in the U.K. and, therefore, it is in both our interests to try and tackle the issues and to ensure that people who are returning are given help and support," she said.


Mrs. Munn, who has been in the island since Saturday, also met with members of the business community, the Electoral Commission and members of civil society. She was also hosted yesterday at a luncheon at The Gleaner Company at its North Street office in downtown Kingston.


"I think it is important when visiting a country to get a really rounded idea of what’s happening, who is involved in the society and what’s their perspective on the challenges and opportunities ahead," she said.


Mrs. Munn, who has responsibilities for Overseas Territories, Caribbean/Central America, South East Asia, Consular Policy, among other things, also served as Minister of Women and Equality, based at the Department for Communities and Local Government from May 2005. The Parliamentary Undersecretary of State, who was recently appointed to the post by the Gordon Brown administration, is scheduled to leave the island later today.


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