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Moonilal calls for deeper ties between V’zuela, T&T
Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr Roodal Moonilal, says Trinidad and Tobago and Venezuela should continue to deepen ties to fight against arms and narcotics trafficking. “T&T and Venezuela have a deeply rooted history in trade and culture. We share a mutual commitment to co-operate against trafficking of arms, narcotics, and persons and we recognise the importance of dialogue to address another issue of shared concern and that is, the detention of nationals in our respective countries,” he said.
He was speaking yesterday at Venezuela’s Independence Day celebrations, at the residence of Venezuela’s Ambassador, Maria Eugenia Marcano Casado in St Clair. Moonilal said both countries have already begun discussions on strengthening their judicial systems. “In January 2012, T&T and Venezuela held discussions on the possibility of co-operation in the area of reform of our justice system and offender management. The Venezuelan administration has already embarked on the implementation of a strategic plan to reform Venezuela’s system and upgrade the levels of preparedness of the police service. “Undoubtedly the sharing of expertise and information will be mutually beneficial to both our countries,” he said.
There are also plans for a water taxi service between the two countries. “Discussion is also ongoing with the establishment of the water taxi service between Venezuela and T&T. I know many of us would welcome such an initiative. This initiative would facilitate an increased flow of persons between both countries,” he said. He added that T&T and Venezuela are also working together in the international sphere. “Our countries have always shared a common platform to develop areas such as tourism, energy and trade aimed at promoting economic co-operation and development. This is evident in mutual memberships in organisations such as the Association of Caribbean States (ASC), the Economic Association of Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC). “T&T and Venezuela also share a common link in oil and gas and despite the obstacles our respective countries have faced in this sector, we feel that these challenges have served to define our resilience of our people in successfully overcoming our challenges,” he said.
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