Barbados’ commitment to CARICOM nationalsLeaders Freundel Stuart, Dr Ralph Gonsalves and Dr Kenny Anthony at the Press conference. (Nigel Browne in St Lucia)
By Dawne Parris in St Lucia | Sat, July 07, 2012 - 10:27 AM
CARICOM nationals who travel to Barbados should soon be able to stay for up to six months at a time.
Prime Minister Freundel Stuart has given his commitment to CARICOM leaders that his Government will fall in line with Caribbean neighbours that have fully applied the measure agreed by CARICOM Heads of Government at their summit in Barbados five years ago.
Barbados already grants CARICOM travelers six months stay but does so in installments – three months in the first instance and then, if the beneficiary is interested, an additional three months with no objections.
However, speaking at the closing press conference of the 33rd Regular Meeting of the CARICOM Heads of Government in St Lucia last night, Stuart said that “has been cause for some concern”.
“That has been seen as not implementing the agreement of Heads of Government and therefore we’ve taken a decision to revisit that and that to look at the automatic six months stay subject, of course, to all the security and other considerations that attend visitors when they arrive at our ports of entry,” he said.
Stuart, who chairs CARICOM’s Prime Ministerial Sub-Committee on the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME), says leaders spent much of their three-day summit discussing the integration process and free movement.
St Vincent and the Grenadines’ Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves, who joined Stuart, host Prime Minister Dr Kenny Anthony and St Kitts and Nevis’ Prime Minister Dr Denzil Douglas at the press conference, said there was a recommitment on issues related to freedom of movement during the meeting.
“I think we have gone through many twists and turns on this and there is now solidity in that,” he said.
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