Bahamas Minister of Foreign Affairs the Hon. Darren A. Henfield was among a caucus of Caribbean nations whose Foreign Ministers recently attended a Ministerial Roundtable in Kingston, Jamaica, hosted by the United States Secretary of State the Honourable Michael Pompeo. The high-level meeting held on 22nd January, 2020, provided a platform for discussions on shared democratic values and critical hemispheric matters particularly security, development cooperation, prosperity and human rights. Talks also centered on financial services inclusive of blacklistings and de- risking, youth empowerment, education and the diversification of the Organization of American States (OAS), all crucial to U.S.-Caribbean relations.
The Bahamas and the Caribbean are valuable partners and allies of the United States and these roundtables are important platforms for working towards shared goals. On the sidelines of the formal meeting, Minister Henfield and Secretary Pompeo also discussed the humanitarian support that the U.S. provided to The Bahamas post Hurricane Dorian and rebuilding efforts. They also discussed US travel advisories and tourism. During the talks, Minister Henfield conveyed the gratitude of the Bahamian people, particularly those from Abaco and Grand Bahama, for the solidarity and support of the United States which has provided safe harbour and aid to some 400 persons as well as $34 million in humanitarian assistance for The Bahamas.
His ninth visit to the “region”, Secretary Pompeo noted that this special visit represented President Trump’s resolve to deepen the United States’ relationship with the Caribbean and promote democracy and human rights. Accompanying Minister Henfield were His Excellency Sidney S. Collie, Bahamas Ambassador to the United States, and Ms. Sherry Johnson Deal, Foreign Service Officer, Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The high-level meeting concluded with a Public Policy Forum on US-Caribbean Relations, which included more than 200 attendees from civil society, government, the diplomatic corps, the local chamber of
commerce, visiting delegations and others.