PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad (CMC) — Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago (T&T) Dr Keith Rowley and Jamaica’s Prime Minister Andrew Holness have agreed to bring to an end the ongoing dispute between both countries concerning immigration.
Relations between the two Caribbean Community (Caricom) member states have been strained over the decision of Port of Spain to deport a number of Jamaicans whom they said would have been a charge on the State for their stay here, having shown no means of sustaining themselves while in the country.
“The Jamaican prime pinister and I agreed that the time has come that this matter be put to bed by the voice of T&T speaking directly to the people of Jamaica. I propose to do so myself,” Rowley told reporters at a press conference on the weekend upon his return from Cuba, where he attended the summit of the Association of Caribbean States.
The stance taken by immigration officials prompted several Jamaicans to call for a boycott of products from Caricom member state.
According to Rowley, while in Cuba, he met with Holness and other Jamaican officials who accepted the position of the twin-island republic that “there is no policy of discrimination against Jamaicans in T&T”.
Describing the dispute as unproductive and negative, Rowley said it would not be tolerated, especially by those who think they can prosper by “the fanning of these flames”.
“I want to reiterate as prime minister of T&T that we have absolutely no intention to allow our relationship with Jamaica to fester and to become a sore,” he said.