Almost a year after their first bilateral dialogue, Suriname and the United States reassessed their relationship during the second edition of this annual consultation. The second bilateral dialogue between delegations from both countries was held today at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, International Business and International Cooperation (BIBIS).
Minister Albert Ramdin looks back with relief. According to him, Suriname and the United States have an equal relationship that benefits both countries. US Ambassador Karen Williams described the bilateral dialogue as an exceptional opportunity to assess the cooperative relationship.
The bilateral dialogue is a high-level meeting in terms of cooperation between the two countries. In addition to Minister Ramdin, Suriname’s Ministers of Finance and Planning Arman Echaepersingh and Krishna Matwera, Minister of Defense, were also present. On behalf of the United States, she was joined by Ambassador Williams Barbara Feinstein (Deputy Assistant Secretary of State) and Clinton White (USAID Representative, USAID in the Western Hemisphere). The latter two officials participated in the dialogue about last year.
According to Minister Ramdin, the annual consultation aims to assess the relationship in various fields. Therefore, delegations considered functional cooperation in areas such as political and diplomatic affairs. A visit by senior officials was also discussed, and as a result, President Chan Santoki will attend the Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles in early June.
The two sides also reviewed the defense cooperation that will continue. There was also an assessment of the support provided by the United States during the COVID pandemic and negotiations between Suriname and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Minister Ramadan: We have a very good relationship with the United States. It is not just a political relationship, it is an equal relationship in which we definitely benefit from cooperation in different areas.” The minister mentions sectors such as education, healthcare and business. Minister BIBIS added: “We see more American companies that are interested in Suriname and there are many other areas in which we can cooperate and work together in it.”
An overview of areas of cooperation will soon be presented, which will concretely indicate the financial benefits of Suriname. Minister Ramdin stressed that the dialogue is part of restoring and intensifying relations with an important partner in the Western Hemisphere. When Suriname takes over the presidency of the CARICOM, President Santoki will also have a certain responsibility to discuss matters of importance to the Western Hemisphere with the United States. “The United States plays an important role in all of these developments, so we will have a lot of contacts with the United States as well as with other countries in the region.”
Ambassador Williams sees the dialogue as an excellent opportunity to exchange ideas about the relationship and explore how it can be strengthened or elevated. She said the United States looks forward to welcoming President Santogi to the summit in June. According to the diplomat, this would be a good time to discuss cooperation.
The American envoy continued to think about the American intervention in the recent period. I looked back on support in the areas of defense, healthcare, COVID-19, and negotiations with the International Monetary Fund. Ambassador Williams was surprised to find cooperation in many areas. All this, she says, only contributed to the strengthening of the relationship.
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