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President Bush to meet with regional Heads

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United States President George W. Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will meet with the fifteen Heads of State/Government and Foreign Ministers of Caribbean Islands at the first-ever Conference on the Caribbean which will take place in Washington DC from June 19-21, 2007.

This was disclosed by St. Vincent and the Grenadines Ambassador Ellsworth John who is Chairman of the Caucus of CARICOM Ambassadors while addressing a Town Hall Meeting at the West Indies Social Club in Connecticut on Friday, March 30.{{more}}

According to Ambassador John, the meetings with the US President and Secretary of State are intended to establish the highest political commitment on behalf of the United States and CARICOM Member States to a consensus based programme to stimulate growth, development and enhanced security in the region. The Conference on the Caribbean is the largest and most significant event to be staged in recent memory focusing on the future of the CARICOM States, which form the “third border” with the United States of America.

John added that this historical conference will bring together for the first time policy markers, international financial institutions, the academic community, private and public sector leaders and people of the Caribbean and the United States in one forum to examine the growth and development of the Caribbean community from a regional perspective.

During the three-day conference, the US President will hold high-level talks with CARICOM Heads at the White House. Ambassador John disclosed that CARICOM Foreign Ministers will meet with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to discuss a number of matters related to the Caribbean including economic and trade goals, an expansion of cooperation on education initiatives, an examination of the potential for expanded collaboration in border security, a review of energy goals and issues of energy security and development assistance.

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