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St Lucia keeps ties with Libya

CAROL MARTINDALE, [email protected]

St Lucia keeps ties with Libya

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The St Lucia government says it does not contemplate breaking diplomatic relations with Libya even as citizens of this North African country have taken to the streets in a bid to overthrow the government of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi.
“We have to act responsibly, we need to monitor to see what is happening and therefore St. Lucia will certainly if the need arise give consideration to its current relationship probably to suspend and later to have a comprehensive review but it is still early in the game,” said Prime Minister Stephenson King, who is now in Grenada attending the annual Caribbean Community (CARICOM) inter-sessional summit.
St Lucia and a number of other countries had established diplomatic relations with Tripoli after the country sought to change its image of being regarded as a nation that harboured terrorists.
“As that indication started unfolding many countries including St. Lucia and other CARICOM states had thought the time had come to formerly establish relations with Libya, and so I do not necessarily believe that this was a mistake, I think it is unfortunate that so soon after establishing a relationship with Libya that we are seeing a turn around in the situation on the ground, “King added.
The pro-democracy protests in Libya are occurring at a time when St. Lucia and the rest of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) were anticipating benefits from the establishment of a Libyan funded development bank for the sub region and an investment sum of about US$200 million.
Former prime minister Dr Vaughan Lewis said it was also too early for Castries to contemplate breaking off relations with Libya. (CMC)