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Thursday 20 September 2018
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Rowley receives report on Dominica vote ‘mishap’

PRIME Minister Dr Keith Rowley has received a full report on the vote by TT representative to the Organisation of American States (OAS), Ambassador Anthony Phillips-Spencer, against Dominica’s request for a waiver of OAS membership fees.

In a brief release yesterday from the Office of the Prime Minister it was reported that upon his return to Trinidad from Tobago yesterday Rowley received a full report of the details of the “OAS mishap.”

“Prime Minister Rowley requested this report from the Minister of Foreign and CARICOM Affairs, the Honourable Dennis Moses prior to his visit to Tobago over the Easter weekend,” the release reported.

The issue of the OAS vote came up yesterday during the Senate sitting as Opposition Senator Wade Mark posed an urgent action on what action would be taken to hold the relevant person to account, given reports of the issue.

TT was the only country in the 35-member bloc to vote against the request at the OAS meeting on March 23. The move triggered national criticism, including Opposition calls for Foreign Affairs Minister Dennis Moses to be removed, and leading the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to issue a statement saying it regretted that its position was misrepresented. However, retired Brig Gen Phillips-Spencer, according to a newspaper report, disputed the ministry’s account as “inaccurate and false” and referred to two memos between the overseas mission and the ministry in a letter to Rowley dated March 29.

Yesterday Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister Stuart Young reported Rowley had asked for a comprehensive report on the “disturbing development.”

“And upon receipt of the facts the honourable Prime Minister will deal with the matter as the facts dictate.”

Mark questioned whether the ambassador had received clear instructions from the Foreign Affairs Ministry to vote against the waiver.

Young replied that the Government does not act capriciously and will await the outcome of the report. He added that Rowley will deal with the matter in his own discretion, based on the facts.

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