Jamaica's Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Kamina Johnson Smith, says that although Jamaica is concerned about the number of Jamaicans visitors being rejected by Trinidad and Tobago, the country is heartened by some of the steps being taken to reduce tensions.
This is according to an article carried by the Jamaica Observer today.
The Observer says Senator Johnson Smith made the comment Friday, as she responded to questions which had been raised at a previous sitting by the Leader of Opposition Business, Senator Mark Golding, on issues with Trinidad and Tobago.
She said that the list of cases of denial of entry between the two countries, shows that there is a significantly higher rate of denials by Trinidad and Tobago.
"While only two nationals from Trinidad and Tobago were denied entry into Jamaica in 2015, one of whom was denied on a recommendation from the Ministry of Health, 320 Jamaica nationals were denied entry into Trinidad and Tobago in 2015," she said.
She also noted that since 2016, already 230 Jamaicans were denied entry, up to June this year.
Senator Johnson Smith said that, based on information available from T&T's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 16,826 Jamaican nationals were granted entry into that country in 2015. At the other end, Jamaica's Passport and Citizenship Agency (PICA) granted entry to 12,875 Trinidadians during the same period.
She said that between January and March this year, there was a sharp increase in denials of Jamaicans at the relevant port of entry. But, they trended down between April and June, although they remained higher than the figure for 2015 over the same period.
She said that, if the current trend continued, the 2016 outcome could be about two percent, which would be below the 3-5 per cent which she had projected earlier this year, based on the level of denials at that time.
"We remain concerned about the comparatively high number of denials, and the treatment of Jamaican nationals at the relevant port of entry," Senator Johnson Smith said.
"We are, however. heartened by some steps taken so far, and our bilateral consultations with Trinidad and Tobago therefore will continue, including our meeting with Prime Minister Rowley when he visits Jamaica next week," she concluded.
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