Above: St Lucia
By the Caribbean Journal staff
St Lucia and New Zealand have signed a joint communique on diplomatic relations, St Lucia’s government announced.
The agreement aims to promote “mutual understanding” and to strengthen cooperation between the two countries, St Lucia said.
“We are island people — we certainly have a common history,” said St Lucia External Affairs Minister Alva Baptiste. “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 [New Zealand] has been doing all along and what [it has] known across the Caribbean region, which is a region fundamentally different from the pacific region but fundamentally similar.”
Baptiste said the agreement marked “a very important development” in St Lucia’s “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,” he said. “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 [sic].”
Minister Baptiste and New Zealand Foreign Minister Murray McCully signed the agreement. The agreement was officially signed on May 17.