The visit to Saint Lucia by French navy vessel La Resolue or “the Resolve” (in English), from Wednesday 5th to Saturday 8th May, 2021, at Port Castries, signifies the deepening of bi-lateral relations between Saint Lucia and the French Antilles.
La Resolue is based in French Guiana.
Minister for National Security Honourable Hermangild Francis who paid an official visit to the vessel on Friday, May 7, 2021, explained that serious talks have been ongoing within the diplomatic framework between Saint Lucia and the French. The dialogue, he says places heavy emphasis on seeking assistance to increase the patrolling of Saint Lucia’s borders.
“I must say that I am very, very impressed with what I saw. On the outside, it may not look that big but when you do go on the inside it is very, very impressive, especially the CCTV capabilities of that ship; the firepower that’s there, and the speed of that cutter, allows the French to intercept almost any vessel that comes their way.”
Minister Francis indicated that though the island does not have the resources to increase the fleet of the Marine Unit of the Royal Saint Lucia Police Force at this time, the government has turned to diplomatic allies for support and these efforts will soon bear fruit.
“There is a Memorandum of Understanding between the Government of France and the Government of Saint Lucia to assist us in the patrolling of our borders. This morning again I spoke to the French Ambassador, and he was telling me that the Admiral in Martinique is working very hard on a draft Treaty to be signed between Saint Lucia and Martinique.”
The Minister is also pleased that training and capacity building to bolster the skills of the Marine Unit will be another favourable outcome of the government’s ongoing dialogue with the French.
In the past several months, the Government has been attempting to find workable solutions to dealing with the illicit activities that are carried out in the island’s waters.