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Prime Minister Philip J. Pierre has spoken highly of relations with the United States following a recent meeting between some cabinet members and U.S. officials.
The U.S. delegation included United States Ambassador to Barbados, the OECS, and the Eastern Caribbean Linda S. Taglialatela.
“You know the U.S. and us are allies – we are friends. We respect each other’s sovereignty,” the Saint Lucia Prime Minister told reporters on Monday.
He said the two sides reiterated the need to respect all countries and not interfere in their internal affairs.
“The friendship with the U.S. continues, and it grows stronger every day,” Pierre asserted.
The Office of the Prime Minister, in a release on the recent meeting with the U.S. officials, said the discussion included matters relating to Saint Lucia’s economy, the Island’s COVID-19 response, and national security.
The release said there was also a discussion of progress towards removing the Leahy Law the U.S. imposed on the Royal Saint Lucia Police Force (RSLPF) due to Operation Restore Confidence (ORC) in 2011.
In applying the Leahy Law, Washington suspended assistance to RSLPF due to ‘credible’ allegations of serious human rights violations and extra-judicial killings under ORC.
But in June last year, the United States relaxed some of the Leahy Law sanctions announcing that some police departments, such as the Marine and Immigration units, would again enjoy the full benefits of U.S. security assistance.