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SVG establishes Diplomatic Relations with 3 more countries

SVG establishes  Diplomatic Relations with 3 more countries

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St. Vincent and the Grenadines has formalised diplomatic relations with Moldova, Serbia and the Solomon Islands.{{more}}

Ambassador Camillo Gonsalves signed the necessary instruments in New York with those countries’ United Nations ambassadors.

A release from the Permanent Mission of SVG to the United Nations said “The establishment of diplomatic relations is a key pillar of the foreign policy of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, which, as a small country, seeks to increase its diplomatic space by building beneficial relationships with countries around the world. In addition to Africa, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines has been concentrating on building relationships with Gulf States, Eastern European countries, and other Small Island States.”

The Republic of Moldova, a country of less than 4 million people, is located in Eastern Europe. Moldova declared its independence in 1991, following the breakup of the Soviet Union. The country’s US$11 billion GDP is based on services, tourism, agriculture and its well-known wine industry. Moldova is currently going through the steps to become a candidate for membership in the European Union.

Ambassador Alexandru Cujba, the Permanent Representative of the Republic of Moldova to the United Nations, noted that, as small countries with economies based on services, agriculture and tourism, Moldova and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines had many issues on which they could cooperate to the mutual benefit of both countries. He suggested that technical cooperation, as well as coordination of activities at the United Nations, could be a good basis for solidifying the relations between Moldova and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.

Ambassador Gonsalves and Ambassador Feodor Starcevic, Permament Representative of the Republic of Serbia to the United Nations, signed documents establishing diplomatic relations between St. Vincent and the Grenadines and the Republic of Serbia, also in Eastern/Central Europe. Serbia was formerly a part of Yugoslavia. Like Moldova, Serbia aspires to membership in the European Union. Serbia has a population of roughly 7.5 million people, and a GDP of US$85 billion. The Serbian economy is the fastest-growing in the region, and is based on services, industry and agriculture. Serbia has been an increasingly attractive destination for foreign direct investment, with major companies like Coca Cola, Nestle, Microsoft, Siemens and US Steel having all recently set up shop in the country.

The country continues to recover from the devastating war with Bosnia and Hertzegovina, as well as the continuing dispute over the independence of Kosovo. In late May, Serbian authorities arrested Ratko Mladic, an accused war criminal, and turned him over to the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.

Ambassador Gonsalves told the Serbian envoy that SVG was heartened by Serbia’s commitment to bring accused criminals to justice, as well as the peaceful negotiation of its dispute with Kosovo. Gonsalves saw ample areas for cooperation between Serbia and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, particularly in the areas of agriculture, technical support and education. The two ambassadors pledged to explore other avenues of cooperation between the two countries.

The Solomon Islands, like SVG, is an archipelago of small islands. The Solomon Islands are located in the Pacific Ocean, and have a population of 500,000. Ambassador Gonsalves, in signing the instruments with Ambassador Colin Beck to establish diplomatic relations, pointed out the many similarities between the two nations: both are small, multi-island states, members of the Commonwealth, and affected by climate change. Ambassador Gonsalves also noted that both Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and the Solomon Islands maintain strong relationships with Taiwan, and have similar interests and perspectives on a number of global issues. Ambassador Beck noted that while the two countries were just getting around to formalising their relations, he was proud of the solidarity and cooperation that they had already displayed in a variety of areas at the United Nations. He expressed the hope that the leaders of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and the Solomon Islands would have the opportunity to collaborate more closely on matters of mutual interest.

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