October 19, 2012
PM Gonsalves out of state for Independence Day parade

Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves left the state yesterday for the United Arab Emirates, where he is expected to attend the World Energy Forum in Dubai, October 22 to 24 and meet with other officials.{{more}}

The prime minister, speaking at a press conference Wednesday, said that he will be leading a delegation including Ellsworth Dacon, of the energy unit and Ambassador Camillo Gonsalves, on the important visit, where he said he is expected to meet with a number of officials from the UAE and the Emir of Kuwait, Sabah IV Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah.

Gonsalves said that it would have been helpful if the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani would be in the UAE, so that the two could meet and added that he was meeting with the leadership of Bahrain.

As a result of his trip, the prime minister said that for the first time since being elected to office, he will not be present at this year’s Independence Day parade at the Victoria Park.

He explained that he intended to leave earlier, but that could not be facilitated due to some religious celebrations in the UAE.

The prime minister’s pre-recorded address will be aired the night of October 26, the eve of Independence Day activities and Deputy Prime Minister Girlyn Miguel will make a speech at the parade.

“I regret very much that I have to do that, but the circumstances are such that for me to do the business which I have arranged to be done in the Middle East,” Gonsalves said.

He added that this country was opening up and strengthening relations with countries in the Middle East.

Gonsalves said that Cabinet had approved the name of a gentleman who would be the Honorary Consul in the UAE, saying that it was the intention of his administration to appoint similar Consuls in all the Middle Eastern countries that this country develops foreign relations with.

“This part of the world is very important and growing in significance,” Gonsalves said. (DD)