Above: Montserrat Premier Donaldson Romeo and Antigua Prime Minister Gaston Browne
By the Caribbean Journal staff
Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister Gaston Browne visited Montserrat on Monday in a bid to deepen ties between the neighbours in the Eastern Caribbean.
Browne, who was joined by Permanent Secretary Ambassador Colin Murdoch, met with Montserrrat Premier Donaldson Remoe, touring the island’s museum, geothermal project, sports centre and other stops, including a helicopter tour of the volcano.
Romeo said he advised Browne that Montserrat was “open for business.”
“Seeing the old and the new and to witness the start of our project called Ash to Cash which will involve the immense volume of sand available in Montserrat from volcanic activity that will be beneficial to Antigua and Barbuda in the near future,” he said.
Romeo said the visit signaled the “start of new and improved relations between our two countries.”
“My impression prior to this visit was that Montserrat was totally devastated by the volcano, not realizing that you still have a beautiful and viable country,” Browne said. “From what I have seen, you still have a significant amount of potential and what I believe is required is for you to build your infrastructure and I am quite confident that Montserrat some day will become a self-sustaining country and anything Antigua and Barbuda can do to assist you in building capacity, and to share in the socio economic infrastructure development, we are more than willing to do so.”
The two islands are connected by regular flights and periodic ferry service.