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Caribbean Foreign Ministers will meet with United States Secretary of State Madeline Albright on Thursday October 2 in New York.

The informal session will take place over breakfast at the Waldorf Astoria and will be the first high level encounter between the two sides since the Summit Meeting between Caribbean leaders and the US President in Barbados last May. The inaugural annual meeting between the Foreign Ministers and the Secretary of State which is part of the agreement arising out of the Barbados Summit is expected to be convened in the Caribbean during the first quarter of 1998.

Thursday’s meeting will review progress since the signing of the “Partnership for Prosperity and Security in the Caribbean” at Bridgetown, Barbados by Caribbean Community (CARICOM) leaders as well as the Dominican Republic and US President Bill Clinton.

The New York meeting follows a week after the three committees identified during the Summit to carry on the follow up activities concluded sessions in Miami, USA and Bridgetown, Barbados. The Trade and Investment Committee and the Development, Finance and Environment Committee met in Miami while the Justice and Security Committee met in Bridgetown.

At the Miami meeting, the two sides signed a Memorandum of Understanding relating to Caribbean Economic Diversification which allows for a grant of US $3 million over a three year period with half of the sum earmarked for the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States, in particular the four countries of the Windward Islands. In Bridgetown, the US undertook to provide air and sea craft to strengthen regional interdiction capability.

Prime Minister of Dominica the Hon. Edison James who in his capacity as that country’s Foreign Minister is chairman of CARICOM’s Council of Foreign and Community Relations (COFCOR) was briefed via teleconference last Friday on the outcome of the three meetings by chairman of the Summit Follow-up Co-ordinating Committee, the Hon Ralph Maraj, Foreign Minister of Trinidad and Tobago and chairman of the Justice and Security Committee, the Hon David Simmons, Attorney-General of Barbados. Mr Byron Blake, CARICOM’s Assistant Secretary-General Regional Trade and Economic Integration also participated in the teleconference.

Following Thursday’s meeting with the US Secretary of State, CARICOM Foreign Ministers will hold their annual informal meeting in New York on Friday. The Ministers are in New York to attend the General Assembly Session of the United Nations.

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