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Jamaica – US relationship remains strong, says ambassador Marks

By Derrick Scott

KINGSTON, Jamaica, (JIS) – Jamaica’s ambassador to the United States, Her Excellency Audrey Marks, says the island’s relationship with the United States under the Biden Harris administration remains strong, and that the government of Jamaica continues to greatly value its enduring partnership with the US.

She was on Friday addressing a reception at the Embassy of Jamaica to mark the conclusion of high-level consultations on information and communications technology (ICT), cyber security and energy in Arizona and Washington DC.

“It is a distinct pleasure to host my Jamaican and American colleagues today at this reception, as it is a fitting end to a productive week of engagements between the government of Jamaica and our partners in the US government, private sector, and academia,” ambassador Marks observed.

“This week-long slate of consultations marks yet another positive development in Jamaica’s policy focus on emerging stronger from the Covid-19 pandemic. This strategic involvement of the USA is also symbolic of its strong commitment to continue its longstanding support of Jamaica’s development efforts,” she declared.

The Jamaican 12-person high-level delegation was led by the minister of science, energy and technology, Daryl Vaz, including minister of education and information Faval Williams; minister without portfolio in the ministry of economic growth and job creation, Senator Aubyn Hill, minister without portfolio in the ministry of national security, Senator Matthew Samuda, and head of the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ) Dr Wayne Henry.

Ambassador Marks pointed out that the diverse nature of Jamaica’s delegation to the consultations was indicative of the importance of ICT and cybersecurity to the government of Jamaica, noting that, “we can achieve so much when we work together to address shared challenges in a spirit of friendship.”

“Even before the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, the government of Jamaica has been working assiduously to strengthen its digital offerings and capabilities. We have had challenges, but we are cognisant of the opportunities that lie in a digital economy,” she observed.

She thanked the team from the US Department of State for their invitation to the government of Jamaica and in particular, Alexander Sokoloff from the Embassy in Kingston, as part of an ongoing collaboration on information technology, cybersecurity, and energy.

Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in charge of the Caribbean Mark Wells, in responding said that the Biden-Harris administration was very focused on deepening the relationship between Jamaica and the US because it is very important to do so.”

He pointed to the staging of the high-level consultations on digital technology as an example, noting that, “It is important to have a government and a Cabinet that is thinking long term about the challenges that face our people. In addition, you have an embassy that is thinking about how we can be of assistance to the Caribbean and so we discuss issues such as the digital economy; cyber security, digital education, energy, and of course climate change.”



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