CARICOM strengthens ties with Japan, Israel

The 15-member Caribbean Community (CARICOM) grouping has strengthened its relations with Japan and Israel.

A CARICOM statement said since 1993, relations between CARICOM and Japan have been moving apace, evidenced by the summit of heads of government, four ministerial sessions and 17 consultations held among senior officials.

The Guyana-based CARICOM Secretariat said it has received the accreditation of Japan’s new Ambassador Mitsuhiko Okada and that Ambassador Manorma Soeknandan, deputy CARICOM secretary-general, in accepting the letters of credence, restated the Community’s “profound appreciation” to Japan for contributing to the construction of the CARICOM Secretariat building.

She also noted the first visit of a Japanese prime minister to the region in 2014 and the new level of political engagement it carried.

Soeknandan said as an influential voice in the international fora, CARICOM greatly value its friendship with its Pacific island nation.

Ambassador Okada pledged to “vigorously build upon the strong foundation and closer ties” which the two countries have had.

CARICOM also received the new Israeli envoy as the Middle East state reaffirmed its commitment to assist Caricom to achieve its ideals.

Israel’s Plenipotentiary Representative to CARICOM, Mordeha Amihai-Biva said “the objectives of the Caribbean Community are nobles ones.”

He said they are centered on people, full employment, health and education.

The Israel envoy said through the Israel Agency for International Development Cooperation, dozens of professionals from the region have advanced their training in agriculture, healthcare, education and sustainable development over the past year.

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