Antigua and Barbuda Ambassador to the UAE, His Excellency E. Casroy James, received full diplomatic accreditation when he presented his credentials to His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates, and Ruler of Dubai.Present at the official ceremony held at the Al Mushrif Palace in Abu Dhabi, were a number of Sheikhs and senior state officials.
They included Dubai Crown Prince – Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation – Sheikh Ahmad Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation – Reem Ebrahim Al Hashemi, Minister of State for International Cooperation – Mohammad Ahmad Al Bawardi, Minister of State for Defence Affairs, and Minister of State – Dr. Sultan Ahmad Al Jaber.
His Excellency, Ambassador James, conveyed greetings and well wishes to His Highness and the people of the UAE on behalf of the Prime Minister the Honourable Gaston Browne his Cabinet and also the people of Antigua and Barbuda.
In his remarks, Ambassador James provided evidence of the strong and mutually beneficial alliance that Antigua and Barbuda continues to build with the UAE.
He noted a number of bilateral arrangements being under taken by both Governments with a view to yielding greater economic activity in the short to medium term for the Government of Antigua and Barbuda.
These include certain base agreements such as the Investor Protection Agreement and the Double Taxation and Tax Information Exchange Agreements.
In addition, the Government of Antigua and Barbuda has accepted the UAE’s offer to lend technical assistance to Antigua and Barbuda in the areas of port development, renewable energy, design of hybrid solar, wind and diesel off grid systems for major government installations.
These installations will include the hospital, national parks, government hotels, reverse osmosis plants, and smaller installations that will all focus on setting and maintaining high standards. A team from the UAE is expected to visit the island later in 2016 to review the areas highlighted for assistance.
Finally, Ambassador James updated the UAE officials on the progress of Antigua and Barbuda’s Embassy and Economic Office both scheduled to be operational by the last quarter of 2016. The opening of this embassy will be an historic one as Antigua and Barbuda will become the first CARICOM member to establish an embassy in the UAE.
Earlier this year, The Government of Antigua and Barbuda granted a waiver of visa requirements for Emirati Citizens visiting Antigua and Barbuda. Ambassador James was added to the Diplomatic Corps of Antigua and Barbuda in 2014.