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January 25, 2006

Britain's Non-Resident High Commissioner to St. Kitts and Nevis His Excellency Mr. Duncan Taylor

presented his credentials to the Federation's Prime Minister the Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas on Tuesday.

Dr. Douglas in welcoming the newly-accredited British Government official who is based in Barbados said his St. Kitts and Nevis Government has approached the Tony Blair Administration for further assistance to the Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force and in combatting an increase in anti-social behaviour.

"Our relationship has been extremely long and very deeply rooted and over the years, we have been able to enjoy the fruits of our relationship based of course on mutual respect for each other as two independent countries, not withstanding the very long historical ties that we have had with Great Britain," said Prime Minister Douglas, who noted that Mr. Taylor begins his tour of duty at a time when the Caribbean is undergoing tremendous change as "we prepare ourselves to meet the challenges of globalisation and as we as a

Caribbean people have taken the very determined position to be better able to prepare ourselves and tom make our countries and people more competitive in dealing with a more hostile external environment."

Dr. Douglas also noted that St. Kitts and Nevis is also experiencing more than the normal challenges of the times with the closure last July of the sugar industry, which has had much impact on the socio-economic and

political development of the people of the twin-island nation.

"With it has come tremendous change, tremendous challenges to our people and apart from the numbers of persons who became unemployed since July last year, we are still confronted with very serious economic challenges including a high national debt at a time when we are beginning to transform the national economy moving away from sugar-based agriculture to one of services led mainly by hospitality and tourism, financial services and information communications technology," said Dr. Douglas.

He pointed out that a few years ago, St. Kitts and Nevis spent an enormous amount of resources - financial and otherwise - to bring the sector in line with acceptable international standards.

Prime Minister Douglas also cited the continued challenge of the social issues which continue to confront the Federation daily and advised the British diplomat that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has communicated to

his office in Barbados, the Government's concern on the increase in anti-social behaviour and the need for the British Government's assistance in fighting crime.

He noted that in 1995 the British Government had given assistance for a Police Development Programme in the recruitment of three British advisors which introduced changes in the law enforcement body.

The St. Kitts and Nevis leader hoped that during the tour of duty of the British Government's representative, the relationship between Britain and the Federation "would be strengthened and we would be better able to improve

the quality of life of our people."

While here Mr. Taylor paid courtesy calls on Governor General, His Excellency Dr. Sir Cuthbert Sebastian, other Ministers in the Federal Government, the Premier of Nevis, the Hon. Vance Amory and the Leader of the

Opposition in the National Assembly, the Hon. Malcolm Guishard.

Photo: Britian's non-resident High Commissioner to St. Kitts and Nevis, His Excellency Duncan Taylor (r) presents his credentials to St. Kitts and Nevis' Prime Minister, the Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas.

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