From left: Aruba Prime Minister Evelyn Weber Kroes and Dutch Foreign Minister Wopke Hekstra. Prime Minister Gilmer Pisas of Curacao and Prime Minister Silveria Jacobs of Saint Martin.
Willemstad–Technical-level talks will begin in the near future between the Kingdom of the Netherlands and Venezuela to gradually reopen borders with the South American country, announced at the end of Dutch foreign affairs talks. it was done. , Aruba, Curacao, St. Martin on Tuesday.
Curacao Prime Minister Gilmar Pisas said at a press conference after the Kingdom’s foreign affairs talks that he had proposed holding the first technical conference in Curacao. He “agreed to send an invitation to Venezuela to discuss the gradual reopening of the border and offered to hold the first meeting in Curacao,” he said.
“We are all in favor of reopening the border with Venezuela, but it must be based on a firm agreement. Prime Minister Pizas made the first gesture of meeting in Curacao. In February 2019, Venezuela closed its borders with Aruba and Curacao. A year ago, Venezuela briefly closed its border with Aruba.
Technical talks will soon begin on how to reopen borders in stages. “We hope to reach an agreement with the Kingdom’s largest neighbor. Technical negotiations are the first step,” Dutch Foreign Minister Wopke Hoekstra said, adding that relations with Venezuela “always remain complicated.” rice field.
Asked at a press conference by the media about the time frame for reopening, Weber-Kroes explained that Aruba wants, first and foremost, an “orderly” reopening in stages, starting with the maritime borders.
If it is up to Aruba, first the maritime borders will be reopened, and small merchant ships will come to the island to bring fruits and vegetables to the island at prices lower than those currently offered in supermarkets for fresh produce imported from the United States and Europe. . After that, large private ships from Venezuela will be allowed, followed by private airlines, and private jets in the final stages of reopening.
Minister Hoekstra said it would be difficult to give a timeframe for the gradual reopening of borders. We emphasize that this does not mean that we acknowledge the election results of
Prime Minister Pisas said reopening borders for ships carrying perishables is not only important to reduce the high cost of food, but also to re-establish air traffic with Venezuela so that people can return home. We made it clear that it is also important to be able to But he pointed out that we have to be careful with our language when it comes to Venezuela.
Saint Martin’s Prime Minister Silveria Jacobs did not mention Venezuela in her opening remarks, but focused on the role of the Small Island Developing States (SIDS) Aruba, Curacao and Saint Martin in the Kingdom’s foreign policy. , positioned them as international issues. agenda. “It is important that the Kingdom’s policy includes a strong SIDS perspective,” she said.
In that regard, Jacobs called for endorsement of the SIDS Multidimensional Vulnerability Index and called for attention to the challenges facing SIDS in areas such as capacity, climate change mitigation and adaptation, and related finances. Announced. She said it was important at the international level for the Kingdom to demonstrate an inclusive position for all parts of the Kingdom.
As a small, non-independent country, St. Martin has had little impact on foreign affairs, Jacobs said, but has been affected by external factors such as war in Ukraine, rising energy costs, and global food and security. He said he was greatly affected. The crisis and economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The war in Ukraine and its impact on the region was fully discussed during the Kingdom’s Foreign Affairs Consultation. [Tuesday – Ed.] It is an important forum to discuss how we can improve the security of the Kingdom and the well-being of all of us,” said Minister Hoekstra.
The three prime ministers and ministers were very positive about Tuesday’s talks, their first meeting in three years. “It was a good meeting with concrete agreements. The more we work together, the better for the people,” said Prime Minister Weber Croes. “It was a friendly and constructive meeting,” said her colleague from Curacao, Pisa.