Americas

Obama to meet with Caribbean leaders in Jamaica

Prime Minister of Jamaica Portia Simpson Miller has a laugh with Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines Ralph E. Gonsalves during the Conference of the Caribbean at the Organization of American States in Washington, DC in June 2007. The two will be among the leaders meeting with President Barack Obama when he visits Jamaica next month.
Prime Minister of Jamaica Portia Simpson Miller has a laugh with Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines Ralph E. Gonsalves during the Conference of the Caribbean at the Organization of American States in Washington, DC in June 2007. The two will be among the leaders meeting with President Barack Obama when he visits Jamaica next month.

President Barack Obama is headed to the Caribbean.

Obama will be making a state visit to Jamaica on his way to the Seventh Summit of the Americas in Panama next month, the White House confirmed Wednesday. The trip will take place April 8-11.

During his one-day visit to Jamaica, Obama will meet with Jamaican Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller and other leaders of the 15-member Caribbean Community regional grouping.

While the issues from the U.S. side are expected to focus on security, trade competitiveness and energy, Caribbean leaders will also seek to add financing for development and development issues among the topics to be discussed.

The meeting with Caribbean leaders is a follow up to the promise Obama made in April 2009 to hold a summit with regional leaders when he attended the Fifth Summit of the Americas in Trinidad and Tobago.

Since then, leaders have been pressing for such a summit to take place.

The last time a sitting U.S. president visited Jamaica was during a 1982 visit from former President Ronald Reagan with then Jamaican Prime Minister Edward Seaga.

After Jamaica, Obama will travel to Panama where he will hold a bilateral meeting with Panamanian President Juan Carlos Varela, and meet with leaders from the Central American Integration System (SICA).

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