Saint Lucia and France Strengthen Cooperation

Prime Minister Philip J. Pierre and Minister for the Interior and Overseas Territories of the Republic of France, Gérald Darmanin met recently with other officials for discussions aimed at enhancing bilateral cooperation between the two countries.

The French delegation also included President Serge Letchimy and the Prefect of Martinique Jean Christophe Bouvier, at the meeting that was held, on March 15, with focus on 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.

PM Pierre in discussion with cabinet colleagues and representatives of French delegation

Plans were outlined 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.

Relating to health cooperation, the parties committed 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).

PM Pierre and Health Minister Moses Jn. Baptiste acknowledged the support from the Government of Martinique for its involvement in providing healthcare to Saint Lucian citizens. The local contingent expressed the willingness 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 discourse on security.

PM Pierre and members of his cabinet are grateful 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.

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