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Gov't will deepen cooperation to strengthen regional security, says Holness

Saturday, November 17, 2018

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — Prime Minister Andrew Holness says the Government intends to deepen its collaboration and cooperation with other Caribbean stakeholders and counterparts in order to strengthen regional safety and security.

Speaking on November 14 at the commissioning of the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) new Maritime Patrol Aircraft Hangar, at the JDF Air Wing Manley Base at the Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston, he said this is imperative against the background of prevailing security threats, particularly in the maritime domain, which he described as “transnational and global in nature”.

The threats include terrorism; trafficking of illegal weapons and arms, drugs, and people; illegal dumping and discharge of pollutants; and unregulated fishing.

“Therefore, the choices we make with regard to furthering the region's security must be done in a manner that is collaborative, in order to promote economic and social prosperity for all in the region. Jamaica has a key role to play in this regard,” the prime minister said.

The ceremony was also used to commission into service, two Bell 429 helicopters and a Beechcraft King Air 350 ER maritime patrol aircraft, acquired by the JDF.

Holness said discussions regarding regional security often focus on countries' porous borders and limited resources.

He argued that in this “increasingly interdependent and borderless” global environment, enhanced maritime awareness is critical, “even more so in regions with geostrategic significance, such as the Caribbean”.

“Enhanced maritime security significantly contributes to improved socio-economic development and the ability for public and private entities to conduct legitimate activities in the blue economy, in the areas of resource extraction, trade, transportation and tourism,” the prime minister said.

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