wikileaks ico  Home papers ico  Cables mirror and Afghan War Diary privacy policy Privacy
Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
06PORTOFSPAIN164
2006-02-02 19:29:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Port Of Spain
Cable title:  

T&T'S FOREIGN MINISTER PREVIEWS CARICOM

Tags:   PREL  EPET  XL  TD 
pdf how-to read a cable
VZCZCXYZ0000
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHSP #0164 0331929
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 021929Z FEB 06
FM AMEMBASSY PORT OF SPAIN
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 6376
INFO RUCNCOM/EC CARICOM COLLECTIVE
RUEHCV/AMEMBASSY CARACAS 3541
RUEHPU/AMEMBASSY PORT AU PRINCE 1275
						C O N F I D E N T I A L PORT OF SPAIN 000164 

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR WHA/CAR

E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/02/2016
TAGS: PREL EPET XL TD
SUBJECT: T&T'S FOREIGN MINISTER PREVIEWS CARICOM
INTERSESSIONAL MEETING AGENDA

Classified By: DCM, Eugene P. Sweeney for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d)



1. (C) SUMMARY: Foreign Minister Gift previewed the agenda
for the February 9-10 CARICOM Intersessional meeting. Gift
expects PetroCaribe will generate significant debate at the
meeting. He also anticipates that CARICOM's relations with
Haiti will warm some after the meeting. Gift inquired about
the upcoming CARICOM Foreign Ministers' meeting with
Secretary of State Rice, and floated the idea that it could

SIPDIS
take place in Port of Spain in March (See action request in
paragraph 8). END SUMMARY



2. (C) Ambassador Austin met with Trinidad and Tobago
Foreign Minister Gift on February 1 to discuss the upcoming
CARICOM Intersessional meeting, slated for February 9-10 in
Port of Spain. Poloff attended as notetaker, as did three
representatives from the MFA's Multilateral Division. Gift
explained that the Intersessional meeting is designed to
amalgamate the reports of all the CARICOM meetings and
councils and to set the agenda for the next CARICOM Summit.



3. (C) Gift pointed out that PetroCaribe is a CARICOM
concern, because it seems that some countries have signed it
in violation of the principle of consensus. Further, Gift
noted that the CARICOM Energy Stabilization Fund could not be
used to pay Venezuela for the PetroCaribe shipments. Rather
than a discussion of problems with PetroCaribe, Gift stated
that it will be addressed as an update by those who have
signed on and benefited from the deal. He expects it to
generate "quite a bit of debate."



4. (C) Gift assured Ambassador Austin that the
Intersessional meeting is for members only, but that by
tradition CARICOM invites an extra-regional head of
government to the regular session. Gift noted that this is
one of the items to be discussed at the Intersessional.



5. (C) Gift then turned to the proposed CARICOM Foreign
Ministers' meeting with Secretary of State Rice. Gift noted
that they would like a little more time to finalize the
agenda for the meeting, proposing early March as a convenient
time for the meeting (no specific dates were suggested). He
also floated the idea of holding the meeting in Port of
Spain, rather than in Nassau. Ambassador Austin assured him
that he would inquire about the Secretary's availability.



6. (C) Ambassador Austin raised the issue of Haiti/CARICOM
relations in light of Interim Prime Minister Latortue's visit
to Trinidad and Tobago. Gift replied that he was getting
ready to go to Haiti this week, with the Foreign Ministers of
the Bahamas and Dominica. He also emphasized that T&T had
been engaging Haiti at the highest level in spite of CARICOM
intransigence because of St. Vincent and St. Lucia. He noted
that CARICOM decided to send election observers and hinted
that the Intersessional meeting would also discuss
Haiti/CARICOM relations.



7. (C) COMMENT: Gift was more open about the upcoming
CARICOM meeting than anyone else in the Foreign Ministry has
been. Gift understands Post's interest in CARICOM's
operations and we will follow up on his offer to identify a
working-level CARICOM point person. The Director of the
CARICOM Department in the MFA has been away from the office,
making it difficult for Post to obtain information about
CARICOM meetings. END COMMENT.



8. (C) ACTION REQUEST: Please advise if the Secretary would
be amenable to meeting with the CARICOM Foreign Ministers in
Port of Spain in early March.

AUSTIN