Chastanet: Future of relations with US looks promising

Prime Minister, Allen Chastanet, has asserted that the future of relations between this country and the United States looks promising.

Chastanet spoke against the backdrop of talks held recently in Barbados with the US Ambassador to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean.

He was accompanied by National Security Minister, Hermangild Francis.

“We were just being updated, so there are a lot of security programmes that we do jointly with the British, with the Americans and the Canadians,” the Prime Minister said of the meeting.

He described the session as an opportunity for both sides to be briefed as to what the measures are and what programmes are in place, as well as what are the most critical issues that need addressing going forward.

Chastanet said Saint Lucia has always had a good relationship with the US.

“We may not always necessarily agree always on the way forward,” he asserted.

According to the Saint Lucia Prime Minister, the biggest issue is the imposition of the Leahy law.

“That will be a priority of my government in terms of resolving,” Chastanet explained.

The Leahy Law or Leahy amendment is a U.S. human rights law.

It prohibits the U.S. Department of State and Department of Defense from providing military assistance to foreign military units that violate human rights with impunity.

Saint Lucia is prevented under the Leahy Law from obtaining security-related assistance from the United States.

It is as a result of alleged extrajudicial killings of civilians by members of the Royal Saint Lucia Police Force (RSLPF), between 2010 and 2011.

The killings took place during a police anti-crime campaign dubbed – Operation Restore Confidence.

Prime Minister Chastanet revealed that the two sides discussed issues which they think can be resolved very quickly so that Saint Lucia can get resources in assisting this country in fighting drug trafficking and crime in particular.