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Cayman Islands Government
 

Diplomats Welcomed

Cayman Islands government officials are continuing to build upon the already solid relations with neighbouring countries, with recent visits by American and Cuban officials resulting in the forging of even stronger relations, and better understanding of current issues.

Over the past month, Cayman hosted visits by the newly-appointed United States Ambassador to Jamaica, Her Excellency Pamela Bridgewater; as well as a visit by Cuban Ambassador Mr. Yuri Gala-Lopez.

Both of these officials are based in Jamaica and have regional consular jurisdiction for their respective countries.

These familiarisation trips are commonly made by new appointees (as Ambassador Bridgewater is), and routinely, to bolster relations generally.

The Deputy Governor's office believes that these visits facilitate the development of good working relationships between the countries concerned, while allowing personal dialogue and the establishment of good foundations for continued diplomatic interaction.

"These meetings are especially important if there are pressing issues involving nationals of the respective countries, and have led to the development of treaties and memoranda of understanding in the past," said Deputy Governor Mr. Franz Manderson, Cert. Hon., JP.

Whilst in Grand Cayman last month, the American ambassador and local U.S. Honorary Consul, Mr. Gary Montemayor were treated to a luncheon by His Excellency the Governor, Mr. Duncan Taylor, CBE; and made courtesy calls on the Honourable Premier, Mr. McKeeva Bush, OBE, JP and the Honourable Deputy Governor.

The visitors also met with the Cayman Islands Tourism Association, as well as with and immigration officials; and held a Town Hall meeting with American citizens resident in the Cayman Islands.

On his visit, the Cuban ambassador was accompanied by Minister Counsellor of the Cuban Embassy in Jamaica, Ms Micaela Ramirez.

They too met with local officials, including the Acting Governor, Mr. Franz Manderson, Cert. Hon., JP, Chief Officer Stran Bodden and Deputy Chief Officer Dr. Dalton Watler in the Ministry of Finance, Tourism & Development. Mr. Bernie Bush of the Pirates Week Office hosted a luncheon for the ambassador.

The ambassador attended meetings with officials from the Department of Immigration, Passport & Corporate Services Office, the Customs Department, Cayman Airways and the Office of the Deputy Governor.

Mr. Gala-Lopez was also guest of honour at a luncheon hosted on the Saturday during his visit by the Premier, the Hon. McKeeva Bush.

His Excellency the Governor Mr. Duncan Taylor, CBE, said, "Visits of this nature help to maintain the excellent relationships we enjoy with our neighbours; to increase the visiting officials' understanding of why some of their nationals choose to live here; and, more generally, to promote the Cayman Islands as a destination for tourism, business and investment."

(GIS)

For further information contact: Lennon Christian