Caribbean leaders welcome Saudi Tourism Minister Ahmed Al-Khateeb
Caribbean leaders welcome Saudi Tourism Minister Ahmed Al-Khateeb

Caribbean: The Heads of the Caribbean States recently welcomed and received courtesy from the high-level delegation from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, led by Ahmed Al-Khateeb, Minister for Tourism.

Currently, Minister Khateeb is on an official trip to the Caribbean region. Reportedly, he met with the Prime Ministers of different countries, including the Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada and St Kitts and Nevis.

As per the official updates, the discussions between the leaders and the Tourism Minister of Saudi Arabia were productive and fruitful. All important topics were considered during the meeting. Leaders also expressed pleasure and gratitude towards Minister Ahmed Al-Khateeb and the government of Saudi Arabia.

Senior government officials of The Bahamas met with Saudi Minister of Tourism Ahmed bin Aqil al-Khateeb, highlighting the progress made since establishing diplomatic relations between The Bahamas and Saudi Arabia.

As per the update by the Deputy Prime Minister of the Bahamas, this follows an MOU signed in November 2022 between the Ministry of Tourism Bahamas and the Government of Saudi Arabia on DPM Chester Cooper’s investment mission to the region.

The Saudi Government reciprocated a spirit of cooperation, agreeing to promote The Bahamas as a tourism destination within Saudi Arabia, encouraging more travel and cultural exchange between the two countries.

The meeting also discussed the Saudi Government’s newly established investment fund focused on The Caribbean, which Prime Minister Davis welcomed as a significant step towards advancing infrastructure development in The Bahamas and across the Caribbean region. Both sides are in the final stages of discussions regarding funding for major infrastructure projects in The Bahamas.

A possible diplomatic visa waiver agreement between the two countries was also on the agenda.

“This is a stepping stone for prioritising the development of The Bahamas’ diplomatic relations and global standing,” Bahamas’ Minister outlined.

Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of Dominica, Dr Roosevelt Skerrit, also expressed his gratitude. As per the reports, PM Skerrit, along with members of the Cabinet and senior government officials, held high-level talks with Minister Ahmed Al-Khateeb on Wednesday.

The discussions emphasised bilateral cooperation in a number of areas, including agriculture, tourism, culture and infrastructure development. The meeting was organised at the Executive Lounge of the Douglas Charles Airport.

Additionally, Prime Minister of Grenada Dickon Mitchell also received the delegation from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on May 25, 2023 (Thursday).

The focal point of discussions centred around the provision of support from the Saudi Fund for Development to Grenada. This assistance aims to contribute to the development of a Climate Smart Infrastructure Programme, which seeks to address Grenada’s susceptibility to extreme weather conditions and the associated challenges of flooding and infrastructure vulnerabilities, particularly along our coastline.

Andrew Holness, Prime Minister of Jamaica, also welcomed Ahmed Al-Khateeb. He also outlined that Jamaica and Saudi Arabia share a similar vision for the development of tourism and the promotion of investment opportunities. Both nations recognise the immense potential that lies within these sectors and are committed to harnessing this potential to drive sustainable growth and foster a sense of global interconnectedness.

Along with this, the Prime Minister of the Twin-Island Federation of St Kitts and Nevis, Dr Terrance Drew, also received a courtesy call from the Minister of Tourism for Saudi Arabia and the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Saudi Fund for Development (SFD), Ahmed Agil Al-Khateeb, and his delegation during the afternoon of May 25 (Thursday).

During the meeting, various prospects for investments and ways to strengthen diplomatic relations were discussed. Prime Minister Drew outlined St Kitts and Nevis’ vision for becoming a sustainable island state and the need to build resilience in the various sectors, particularly energy and health.