News Americas, KINGSTON, Jamaica, Weds. Mar. 18, 2015: U.S. President, Barack Obama, is slated to visit Jamaica next month, Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller told the Jamaica Parliament Tuesday afternoon.
The PM, according to a press statement, said President Obama, the 44th U.S. President, will be visiting Jamaica on April 9th before leaving for the Summit of the Americas to be held in Panama from April 10-11, 2015.
The last time a sitting U.S. president visited the Caribbean island was during a 1982 visit from former President Ronald Reagan.
“It is expected that the President will be proceeding from Jamaica to Panama for this hemispheric encounter, which will welcome for the first time the participation of our closest neighbor the Republic of Cuba,” the prime minister was quoted as saying.
“President Obama and Prime Minister Simpson Miller will hold bilateral discussions on a range of issues of mutual interest,” the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) said in a statement. “We view the President’s upcoming visit as an affirmation of the strong ties of friendship and cooperation that have united our two peoples for centuries.”
During the historic visit, Jamaica will also host President Obama and the Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (Caricom) for discussions on issues of Caricom/USA relations including security and trade.
“Heads of Government will also exchange views on regional and international issues of mutual interest. As is the regional interest, the Caricom/US summit will be co-chaired by the US president and the current Chairman of Caricom Perry Christie, prime minister of the Bahamas,” the PM added in the statement.
“We are confident that through fruitful dialogue and exchanges during the visit we will succeed in further strengthening the close relations that exist at the bilateral level between Jamaica and the USA, and between the USA and CARICOM,.” PM Simpson Miller added.
President Obama’s first visit to the Caribbean was to Trinidad for the Fifth Summit of the Americas in 2009.