The US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo set foot on Suriname soil. At the Johan Adolf Pengel Airport, he was welcomed by, among others, Minister Albert Ramdin of Foreign Affairs, International Business and International Cooperation and the American ambassador to Suriname Karen Williams.
Immediately upon arrival, the American delegation left for the presidential palace in Paramaribo, where talks with the Surinamese government are being held. President Chan Santokhi and the Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Justice and Police and Defense are present. The business community-based in Suriname will also participate.
The talks will mainly focus on cooperation between the two countries, with an emphasis on collaboration in the field of energy and security. Ramdin sees the US visit as a milestone of the Santokhi-Brunswick government, which has now been in power for more than two months, he said at a press conference on Wednesday.
The Surinamese minister announced that talks of this calibre would also be held with other countries. In this way, he wants to boost the image of Suriname and thus strengthen existing relations with Europe, America and countries in the region. The visit he paid to the Netherlands in mid-August also fitted that goal. “The country has to catch up,” said Ramdin.
Pompeo sees his visit to the Surinamese government as an opportunity to celebrate the “triumph of democracy,” said a statement by the US Department. It is the first time that a Secretary of State of America visits Suriname.
After the visit, the American delegation will continue the trip to neighbouring Guyana and then to Brazil and Colombia. During these visits, Pompeo will discuss how to tackle the corona crisis and how economies can be strengthened at the same time.