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|IDB funding requested for proposed Corentyne bridge feasibility study|
|Written by Chriseana Ramrekha|
|Wednesday, 22 August 2012 09:57|
GUYANA’s Foreign Affairs Minister Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett and her Surinamese counterpart, Mr. Winston Lackin, yesterday met at the Grand Coastal Inn to discuss various issues on the agenda for the bilateral agreements between the two countries.
According to Mr. Lackin, both he and Ms. Rodrigues-Birkett have taken steps as they relate to the construction of a bridge across the Corentyne River. He said that they have written to the Inter- American Development Bank (IDB) for the financing of the feasibility study for the bridge. He also noted that they will be looking at possible contractors for the bridge, and various companies have already expressed their interest,including Chinese and Dutch companies.
In February this year, President Donald Ramotar met with Surinamese President, Desire Bouterse in Suriname to discuss various bilateral issues between the two countries. They spoke about the importance of constructing the bridge across the Corentyne River, which would enhance economic relations and trade between the two countries considerably.
Speaking on the issue of the backtrack route, Mr. Lackin said that it is part of the reality of both countries, and that this reality has to be dealt with. He noted that they are trying to regulate the movement of persons and goods on both sides of the river. “We know that there are some security issues that have to be taken care of. That’s why we have decided that technical people from the security institutions from both our countries should meet as soon as possible to discuss issues in order to see how the regulations can take place” he said. Mr. Lackin advised that persons should utilize the service of the ferry that is available, and said that they want to ensure that security reaches the highest possible level.
Also speaking on the issue, Ms. Rodrigues-Birkett said that they want to ensure that the people of both countries are able to move as freely as possible, while putting regulation measures in place. She said that persons from both countries will be meeting very soon to discuss measures that will be put in place.
The minister noted that the relationship between Guyana and Suriname is at its best in many years. She said that she was told that half the job of a Foreign Minister is completed if there exists good interpersonal relations with colleagues. “Because of the high level of trust, friendship, understanding and solidarity, the issues before us can be discussed in an atmosphere characterized by friendship and respect” she noted.
Also in attendance at the meeting was Guyana’s Ambassador to Suriname- Mr. Keith George, Suriname’s Ambassador to Guyana- Ms. Manorma Sooknandan and Director General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Guyana, Ambassador Elisabeth Harper.
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