The government of Saint Lucia has established diplomatic ties with the government of New Zealand with the aim of promoting mutual understanding and strengthening the friendship and co-operation between the two countries.
Minister of External Affairs Alva Baptiste extended gratitude to the government of New Zealand and outlined certain shared commonalities between the nations.
“I do not want you to feel like friends. I want you to feel like family. We are island people. We certainly have a common history. And I know that New Zealand has a very important understanding of what small island development and challenges are like by virtue of your encounter with the Pacific Islands. So undoubtedly, it is an extension of what you have been doing all along and what you have known across the Caribbean region, which is a region fundamentally different from the pacific region but fundamentally similar,” Baptiste said.
In his closing remarks, Minister Baptiste spoke to the relevance of the established diplomatic relation.
“Undoubtedly this marks a very important development in our quest to expand diplomatic relations to different geographical areas of the world. We are now strengthening relations with Latin America which is very close; although we had relations with countries that were much further away from the Caribbean islands. So certainly it means that we are completing the process of establishing meaningful relations with countries all over the globe by dedicating Saint Lucia to the policy of good neighbour,” the minister added.
The joint communiqué which formalised diplomatic relations between Saint Lucia and New Zealand was signed by Baptiste and New Zealand Minister of Foreign Affairs, Murray McCully, on May 17, 2013.
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