Ministry: We were misrepresented at OAS regarding position on Dominica

Thursday, March 29, 2018 - 09:45

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs says a "misrepresentation" by a public official is to blame for Trinidad and Tobago's object to a request by Dominica to have its OAS fees waived as it recovers from recent hurricanes.

In a media statement issued Thursday, the Ministry insists that the position offered by Ambassador Phillip-Spencer, is not the position of Trinidad and Tobago.

The Ministry says it has launched an investigation into what transpired and that the findings will be sent to the prime minister.

The following is the statement issued by the Ministry today.

"In an unqualified way, the Ministry of Foreign and CARICOM Affairs regrets the misrepresentation of the position of Trinidad and Tobago offered by a public official of Trinidad and Tobago during a meeting of the Permanent Council of the Organisation of American States (OAS) which was held on the 23rd March, 2018, relative to a request from Dominica for a waiver of its financial contribution to that Organization for the years 2018 to 2019.

Currently, an investigation into the briefing arrangements of the public official and the circumstances involved in the discussion at the OAS is underway.

Shortly a report, as requested, would be made available to the Honourable Prime Minister.

Trinidad and Tobago’s solidarity with the people of Dominica is without question. The actions, cooperation (be it technical, financial or diplomatic) with Dominica and advocacy overtime, most recently in the advent and aftermath of hurricanes, Erika and Maria attest to the strong and abiding relationship between Dominica and Trinidad and Tobago.

The position presented at the OAS is not aligned with the actions, policy or orientation of Trinidad and Tobago towards Dominica.

The unswerving commitment of Trinidad and Tobago is that the fraternal bond between CARICOM Member States and peoples of the Caribbean continue to be further strengthened.

The Ministry of Foreign and CARICOM Affairs wishes to reiterate its unwavering support for Dominica, tangibly demonstrated in Trinidad and Tobago’s recent aid and expressions of empathy to that country.

A suggestion by a public servant at an OAS meeting that Dominica's dues not be collected at this time but be deferred to some future time in no way reflects any change in the demonstrated concern of Trinidad and Tobago for the welfare of the people of Dominica."