CaribWorldNews, MONTEGO BAY, Jamaica, Weds. July 7, 2001: Newly-elected Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, Kamla Persad-Bissessar, has assured that concerns regarding the recently inked deal between Air Jamaica and T&T`S Caribbean Airlines will be resolved to the benefit of both countries.
She was responding to questions from the media on Tuesday, July 6th, during a break from the 31st Regular Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community, (CARICOM), which is now in progress at the Rose Hall Resort, Montego Bay.
Caribbean Airlines took over Air Jamaica`s operations following an agreement finalized in April. Under the agreement the Trinidadian government was slated to contribute working capital to facilitate the merger, while the Jamaican Government assumed the debt and covered the winding-up costs. However, concerns were raised about the deal by Persad-Bissessar`s administration on assuming office in May.
But, she explained Tuesday that these concerns were based on issues of transparency, as her party was not aware of the details of the agreement, nor did it have an input in the decisions involved in the takeover.
`We felt that we needed to get as much information as we could. We have received such information, we have a preliminary report from a committee that we had established to do it (and) the report is available,` PM Persad-Bissessar clarified. However, she admitted that there were `one or two areas` which she would like to discuss with Jamaica`s Prime Minister, Bruce Golding.
Persad-Bissessar has been invited by Prime Minister Golding, to remain behind in Jamaica following the CARICOM Conference, which ends July 7, to have talks on issues of mutual interest to both Trinidad and Tobago and Jamaica. Those talks will be held on Thursday, July 8.