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PM: SVG not in back pocket of anybody


St. Vincent and the Grenadines cannot be purchased!

That’s the assurance given by this country’s Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves during a press conference on June 16 in response to a question from the media.{{more}}

Putting to rest all allegations that the Government of Japan pays this country to vote in their favour on the issue of whaling, Dr. Gonsalves said, “St. Vincent and the Grenadines is not in the ‘back-pocket’ of anybody”.

The Prime Minister explained that this country takes positions that are similar to that of Japan and other Caribbean countries on a number of issues, ‘but those decisions are made independent of Japan”.

“When we take a position and it is identical with any issue of that of Japan, it is because we consider that position to be a reasonable one,” Dr. Gonsalves pointed out.

The Prime Minister also refuted allegations that St. Vincent and the Grenadines International Whaling Commission’s (IWC’S) Membership fee is being paid by the Government of Japan.

St. Vincent’s IWC’S membership that has been reduced from £39,000 to £29,000 pounds is paid for from our own resources” Dr. Gonsalves explained.

Noting that he is not interested in talking to any ‘lobbyists’ about whaling, the Prime Minister assured Vincentians that Japan and St. Vincent and the Grenadines have an excellent relations which he hopes will strengthen.

Jennifer Cruickshank, Edwin Snagg, Herman Belmar, and Raymond Ryan represented St. Vincent and the Grenadines at the IWC meeting in St. Kitts from May 23, 2006 to June 19, 2006.