More aid coming  for international  airport, education
January 6, 2012
More aid coming for international airport, education

This country is to receive assistance in international airport development and education, from two countries visited by Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves on his most recent trip abroad.{{more}}

The Prime Minister, speaking at a press conference on Wednesday January 4; his 299th media briefing since taking office in March 2001, said that the states of Azerbaijan and Georgia have promised to provide support for the construction of the international airport at Argyle as early as this month.

The Prime Minister, who visited the two countries, as well as Palestine and London, United Kingdom while on a two week trip from December 18 last year to January 3 this year, indicated that the nations had also assisted St. Vincent and the Grenadines in 2010 after the passage of Hurricane Tomas.

“In Georgia I went to the capital Tbilisi and I saw the Prime Minister (Nikoloz Gilauri)… as I got into the room the Prime Minister said that the President who is in Batumi… on the airport issue, has instructed me to provide assistance, and some time in January that assistance would be forth coming.”

“Originally we were talking about heavy duty equipment, because Georgia produced them from the old Soviet days… but when the officials checked out the cost of the movement they thought it would be better to make the contribution financially for our purposes nearby.”

According to Dr. Gonsalves, his talks with Azerbaijani officials finalized arrangements for a delegation to visit here, where further talks would be held to determine what form the airport assistance will take.

“The president Ilham Aliyev and I had a meeting for over one and a half hours and we talked about ways in which we can strengthen our relations.”

“During the discussions the Prime Minister (Artur Rasizade) said I should meet the head of Azal Airlines; they run the airlines and airports in Azerbaijan, and I had lunch with the Prime Minister and other persons including the Chief Executive Officer of Azal; we agreed that they will come sometime in this month.”

The Prime Minister indicated that Azerbaijan and Georgia, which share borders with each other in Eastern Europe, will also be willing to open their learning institutions to Vincentian students.

He said that the invitation was made for prospective investors to visit this country, especially in the field of tourism.

Dr. Gonsalves also informed the media that his trip to the Palestine National Authority, where he met with President Mahmoud Abbas and other officials, and discussed means of strengthening diplomatic ties and education opportunities, was successful, as was his visit to London.

“In London I had discussions with the people at Amarjaro, the trading company with has signed a memorandum with us for the reintroduction of cocoa as a major commercial crop.”

“We are on target and hopefully we will commence the actual cultivation in June/July; there are a number of preliminary things being done now….”

“Every time I leave St. Vincent and the Grenadines, it is for the people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines.”

“The very small size of our country means that we must utilize all the instruments at our disposal to enlarge our economic and political space in our own interest, that our foreign policy must be predicated on the requirement to enhance our capacity to deal more efficaciously with our external environment; challenging as it is, in our own interest.”(JJ)