Suriname and the United States are evaluating the relationship during another bilateral dialogue

Nearly a year after their first bilateral dialogue, Suriname and the United States reassessed their relations during the second edition of this annual consultation. The second bilateral dialogue between delegations from both countries took place on Saturday 21 May 2022 in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, International Business and International Cooperation (BIBIS). Minister Albert Ramdin looks back with satisfaction. According to him, Suriname and the United States have an equal relationship that both countries benefit from. US Ambassador Karren Williams calls the bilateral dialogue an extraordinary opportunity to evaluate the cooperation relationship.

The bilateral dialogue is a high-level meeting in terms of cooperation between the two countries. In addition to Minister Ramdin, Surinamese Ministers of Finance and Planning Armand Achaibersing and Defense Minister Krishnakoemarie Mathoera were also present. On behalf of the United States, Ambassador Williams was joined by Barbara Feinstein (US Deputy Secretary of State) and Clinton White (representing USAID, the US Western Hemisphere Development Agency). Both of the latter officials participated in the dialogue pretty much last year.

According to Minister Ramdin, the annual consultation aims to evaluate the situation in various areas. Delegations have therefore considered functional cooperation in areas such as political and diplomatic matters. The visit of senior officials has also been discussed, and as a result, President Chandrikapersad Santokhi will attend the Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles, USA in early June. The parties also reviewed defense cooperation, which will be continued. There has also been an evaluation of the support provided by the United States during the covid pandemic and the negotiations between Suriname and the IMF.

Minister Ramdin: “We have a very good relationship with the United States. It is not just a political relationship, it is an equal relationship where we certainly benefit from cooperation in different areas.” The minister mentions sectors such as education, healthcare and business. “We see many more US companies interested in Suriname and there are so many other areas where we can collaborate and work together,” the BIBIS minister added. It will be made clear what the economic benefits are for Suriname. Minister Ramdin emphasizes that the dialogue is part of restoring and intensifying relations with an important partner in the Western Hemisphere. President Santokhi also has some responsibility for discussing issues of importance to the Western Hemisphere with the United States. “The United States plays an important role in all of these developments, and we will therefore have a lot of contact with the United States as well as with other countries in the region.”

Ambassador Williams sees dialogue as an excellent opportunity to exchange ideas about the relationship and explore how it can be strengthened or lifted. The United States looks forward to welcoming President Santokhi to the June summit, she said. According to the diplomat, it will be the right time to discuss the cooperation. The U.S. envoy continued to reflect on U.S. involvement in the recent period. She looked back on support for defense, health care, Covid-19 and negotiations with the IMF. Ambassador Williams was surprised that there was cooperation in many areas. All of this, she says, has only contributed to a stronger relationship.

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