- 30 JAN 2017
Republic of Trinidad and Tobago and the United States Longstanding Collaboration on Matters of National Security
On Saturday, January 28, 2017 cable news network MSNBC aired a segment hosted by Joy-Ann Reid during which guest Malcolm Nance stated:
“…..We [the United States] have not banned terrorists from Brazil. ISIS has dozens of members from Brazil or Trinidad or The Bahamas, who have more terrorist members than any of those other countries…..”
Trinidad and Tobago and the United States have a historic, enduring and multifaceted bilateral relationship built around significant cultural, economic and national securities interests and ties.
In fact, the United States is the home to a number of vibrant Trinidadian and Tobagonian communities reflecting the bond of friendship between our two nations.
Mr. Nance’s broad and simplistic statement is not supported by fact and ignores the robust and substantial national security cooperative partnership between Trinidad and Tobago and the United States. For example, in October of 2016, Trinidad and Tobago had the honour of hosting the Twelfth Conference of Defense Ministers of the Americas that brought together the defense leaders of nearly all nations in the Western Hemisphere, including the U.S. Defense Secretary.
On September 21, 2016, Trinidad and Tobago became the first CARICOM nation to sign along with the United States the Customs Mutual Administrative Agreement (CMAA), further expanding our two nations’ bilateral security relationship. Furthermore, in September of 2016, the Trinidad and Tobago Defense Force, the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service and the United States Southern Command participated in Joint Combined Exchange Training to bolster our mutual capabilities as partners to conduct security operations.
Trinidad and Tobago’s unshakable commitment to combatting terrorism and religious extremism, in all its forms, cannot be called into question and we will continue to work with our partners in the international community, particularly the United States, our major trading partner, until this threat to world order and security is addressed.
It is against this background that Trinidad and Tobago was represented by me, as Prime Minister, in participating in the high level regional security conference of CARICOM and the US which took place in Washington D.C in May 2016.
The Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago will continue to focus on strengthening its longstanding partnership with the United States, while fostering a dialogue which promotes increased economic, cultural and national security collaboration for the benefit of both our nations.
Dr Keith Rowley
Prime Miniter of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago