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Saturday 7 December 2019
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PM: TT, US remain close

Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley, centre, is deep in consultation with US Ambassador Joseph Mondello yesterday as Minister of National Security Stuart Young and Minister of Foreign Affairs Dennis Moses look on at the closing ceremony to mark the end of the visit by the USNS Comfort medical ship to TT on Tuesday. PHOTO BY LINCOLN HOLDER
Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley, centre, is deep in consultation with US Ambassador Joseph Mondello yesterday as Minister of National Security Stuart Young and Minister of Foreign Affairs Dennis Moses look on at the closing ceremony to mark the end of the visit by the USNS Comfort medical ship to TT on Tuesday. PHOTO BY LINCOLN HOLDER

THE PRIME Minister has said there is no fracture between the US and TT, and the two will always have a close working relationship.

Dr Rowley was speaking yesterday at the closing ceremony of the visit of the US Navy hospital ship USNS Comfort to TT.

The ceremony was held at Port of Brighton, La Brea, a few miles from where the ship was anchored in the Gulf of Paria.

He declared, “For those who believe that whenever we have a difference in opinions there is a fracture in our family, let us make no mistake that TT and the US continue and will continue to have a close working relationship.”

In late March the Prime Minister made it clear that there was no rift between the two countries after TT was not invited to a meeting between some Caribbean countries and US president Donald Trump in Florida.

Yesterday's ceremony started with the national anthems of TT and the US being played by members of the TT Defence Force and US Navy respectively.

“Not every day the Americans come together, but today is one of those days where we demonstrate that we, the people of the Americas, can come together and work together for the benefit of all our people,” said Rowley.

He stressed this country's connection to its neighbours in the Americas.

"We are seven miles from South America and seven miles from Venezuela. We also see our friends and colleagues from Canada, Central America and our friends in South America.

"We are all people of the Americas and we work and live very closely with our friends and neighbours on the mainland.”

He reiterated that TT maintains a "very close working relationship with the US and all our friends and colleagues from around the region."

Rowley said TT's arms are always open to assist.

“Where there are problems, what we need to do is work together and rectify those problems. We need to work together.”

He said TT had had problems before and rectified them, and “As we go into the future, we go confidently that we will approach our problems in a way that would bring about the desired solutions.”

Deputy General of the US Southern Command Lt General Michael Plehn said he was thankful for the support received from TT.

“We will continue to strengthen the partnership across our neighbourhood, building the foundation for a stronger, more secure and prosperous region.”

He also thanked US NAVY Captain Brian J Diebold for his work on the ship.

“Diebold, you and your team can be proud of the work you have done with your crew in this beautiful country. The work you have done on the ship has changed lives."

Also present were US Ambassador Joseph Mondello, National Security Minister Stuart Young and other dignitaries.

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