Visit of Dutch dignitaries to Saint-Martin


President Aline Hanson met, on Wednesday July 13, 2016, Mr. Chris Johnson, the new representative of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Sint Maarten. The following Monday, the President received Chris Johnson again, this time accompanied by Richard Van Zwol, Secretary General of the Ministry of the Interior of the Netherlands, on a visit to the island.

Chris Johnson took office as representative of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Sint Maarten on June 1. He was previously elected in charge of constitutional affairs, on his native island of Saba, where he played a decisive role during the change of status of the Dutch islands in 2010.

It was therefore her first formal visit to President Aline Hanson, accompanied by regional councilor Louis Fleming, in charge of regional cooperation.

After a round table presentation, the discussions naturally turned to the subjects of cross-border cooperation. Chris Johnson was also interested in the constitutional status of Saint-Martin and in the community's relations with the French state, in the management of European funds and in the role of Guadeloupe in this process. The interest for Saint Martin to join Caribbean organizations such as the Association of Caribbean States (AEC), the Caribbean Community CARICOM, or the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), was also raised.

Chris Johnson is also responsible for maintaining relations between the Kingdom and country Sint Maarten with the aim of deepening them. In the area of ​​cooperation, he considered that many areas of cooperation were possible with Saint Martin and the other islands in the region.

Monday July 18, 2016, it was Richard Van Zwol's turn, led by Chris Johnson, to meet President Aline Hanson. Secretary General of the Ministry of the Interior of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Richard Van Zwol went to Sint Maarten to study the relations between the Kingdom and Sint Maarten. Relations that the Kingdom of the Netherlands wishes to optimize.

Among his priorities, Richard Van Zwol declared that he wanted to reinforce interregional cooperation actions, by creating a favorable cooperation framework adapted to the needs of the Caribbean territories.

The President welcomed this proactive approach by the Kingdom of the Netherlands, which can only support the cooperative relations between Saint Martin and Sint Maarten.

The Dutch delegates were then accompanied in the field with the achievements of regional cooperation. Led by Alex Richards, Director of European Affairs and External Action, they first visited the tide gauge station inaugurated last June on the port of Galisbay. Charlotte Terrac, head of the major risk management unit, gave a detailed presentation of this new preventive equipment. Then, it was the turn of Doctor Louis Jeffry to present to the Dutch delegation the work carried out within the Health Observatory of Saint-Martin / Sint Maarten.


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