Saint Lucia, France Strengthen Security Cooperation – St. Lucia Times

The content originally appeared on: St. Lucia Times News

Prime Minister Hon. Philip J. Pierre, welcomed Mr. Gérald Darmanin, Minister for the Interior and Overseas Territories of the Republic of France, and his delegation which included President Serge Letchimy and the Prefect of Martinique, Mr. Jean Christophe Bouvier to Saint Lucia for discussions aimed at enhancing bilateral cooperation between the two countries.

The meeting held March 15, 2024 focused on the key areas of security, health, and education.

On the matter of security, discussions focused on increasing security measures between Saint Lucia and Martinique, which would require stronger collaboration between the Royal Saint Lucia Police Force and French Security Forces, including the Gendarmerie, Navy, and National Police.

Plans were detailed for the establishment of a Canine Unit with full financial support for training and procurement of the canine and its handler by the Republic of France.

As it relates to health cooperation, both parties reiterated their dedication to improving healthcare services in Saint Lucia through partnerships with medical institutions in Martinique and Guadeloupe.

Discussions included efforts to address outstanding debt owed to the French Government / Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Martinique (CHUM).

Prime Minister Pierre and Health Minister Hon. Moses Jn. Baptiste emphasised their gratitude to the government of Martinique for its involvement in providing healthcare to Saint Lucian citizens and expressed a desire for further collaboration, including the training of nurses and the rebuilding of St. Jude Hospital.

Plans for joint ventures to introduce new technologies in healthcare were also on the agenda.

Serge Letchimy, President of the Executive Council of Martinique, highlighted progress in OECS and CARICOM integration.

He emphasized territorial diplomacy and proposes enhanced health collaboration, expanded education initiatives, and cultural preservation efforts.

Letchimy calls for intensified cooperation in agriculture, research, and security, emphasizing the importance of addressing insecurity for a shared future.

Furthermore, he strongly suggested the need for more frequent meetings and an international one on security.

Prime Minister Hon. Philip J. Pierre, Minister for Health, Wellness, and Elderly Affairs, Hon. Moses Jn. Baptiste, and Minister for External Affairs, International Trade, Civil Aviation, and Diaspora Affairs, Hon. Alva Baptiste, expressed gratitude for the fruitful discussions and underscored the significance of cooperation between Saint Lucia, France and French over-seas territories in addressing shared challenges and advancing mutual interests.

SOURCE: Office of the Prime Minister