SKN Capitalizes on Opportunity for Bilateral Encounters
15th February 2023 – During the Seventeenth Meeting of the Council on Foreign Relations (COFCOR), the Rt. Hon. Dr. Denzil Douglas carved out valuable time to dialogue with bilateral partners on deepening ties in order to achieve mutual and long-term benefits.
In a side meeting with US Special Presidential Advisor Chris Dodd, the Minister commended the United States for its recent efforts to engage at a deeper and more frequent level and expressed appreciation for the benefits that accrue as a consequence. Minister Douglas shared security concerns that have long existed and reiterated the government’s request to address the ongoing issues.
In another meeting, the Minister seized the opportunity to forge a more meaningful relationship with a non-traditional partner with potential for greater cooperation – Azerbaijan. The Honorable Dr Douglas was happy to share that a national is currently pursuing studies in Azerbaijan. The Minister intimated that “given our high literacy rate of 98% and a youthful population, there is a growing demand to pursue higher education and therefore St Kitts and Nevis welcomes and appreciates the offer of scholarships”. Dr Douglas enumerated some areas for closer collaboration. During the meeting, Azerbaijan Ambassador, H.E. Ruslan Rzayev extended an invitation to Saint Kitts and Nevis to participate at a high level in the upcoming Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) Contact Group on Post Pandemic Recovery slated to take place in Baku on 2 March 2023. Saint Kitts and Nevis and Azerbaijan established diplomatic relations in 1995, but interactions have been sparse. It is hoped that this recent “tete-a-tete” will serve as a launching pad for more effective engagements.