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St. Lucia and the French Republic Sign Two Agreements

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Monday, April 25, 2005 - St. Lucia and the Republic of France have signed two agreements which will facilitate the movement of St. Lucian nationals to the French Department of the Americas and the readmission of persons into Saint Lucia who have to meet the conditions for lawful entry into these French departments.

The two agreements signed Saturday 23rd April 2005 are designed to strengthen the visa waiver agreement between the two countries signed in 2000, which allowed St. Lucian National to travel to Martinique for a period not exceeding 15 days without a visa.

The agreements which have been negotiated over a period of more than two years contain mechanisms which, among other things, address the apparent abuse of the existing visa exemption regime. Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of External Affair Cosmos Richardson says this underscores mutual efforts between the countries to stamp out criminal activity which violates and the spirit of the previous agreement.

“Our ceremony therefore underscores the two governments’ mutual foreign policy objectives of closer cooperation in the deterrence of crime, enhancing security and ensuring better implementation of the provisions concerning the movement of persons between St. Lucia and the French oversees department in the Americas,” said Mr. Richarson

French Minister for Oversees Brigitte Girardin expressed her government’s continued support in strengthening the already close ties with St. Lucia despite the challenges. She also welcomed the island’s resolve in dealing with criminal acts being perpetrated by St. Lucians in the French departments, particularly Martinique.

“The provisions which have been retained in the agreement aims to facilitate the circulation of your nationals in the French oversees department which will enable them to avoid all kinds of misuse without trying to be an obstacle to the free movement of St. Lucians who have the confidence of France,” said Mrs. Girardin.

Attorney General and Minister for Justice Senator the Honourable Phillip La Corbiniere signed both agreements on behalf of St. Lucia. He expressed his satisfaction with provisions in the agreement.

A statement from the Ministry of External Affairs, International trade and Civil Aviation outlined the three main objectives of the agreements as follows:

  • To address the apparent issues of abuse of the visa exemption regime.

  • To underscore the mutual efforts to stamp out criminal activity which violates the spirit of the previous agreement, and threaten to undermine the prevailing goodwill,

  • To facilitate the deportation of persons who are found to have gained illegal entry into each other’s territories or remained there illegally.

The signing of the agreements was also witnessed by Minister for Home Affairs and Internal Security Senator the Honourable Calixte George and French Ambassador to St. Lucia, His Excellency Bernard Venzo.


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