General Fraser made his comments, following his inaugural visit to the Federation, as part of a familiarization tour of the region for which he has responsibility.
He said that both countries are great partners and have great relations between the armed forces and the law enforcement capacities here in St. Kitts and Nevis and the United States Southern Command.
“Our meeting was an opportunity to reaffirm that close relationship and to affirm that as we move into the future, there remains a commitment on the part of the United States Southern Command and the United States, to the security within the Region and [we are] continuing to work together to improve that relationship and the capacity within the Region,” said the general.
It was indicated that much of the cooperation will be done through the U.S.’ Caribbean Basin Security Initiative (CBSI) – a strategy focused on citizen safety throughout the hemisphere. The CBSI has three core objectives which are: to Reduce Illicit Trafficking, to Advance Public Safety and Security; and to Promote Social Justice.
In March, St. Kitts and Nevis signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the United States for a secure seas maritime package which includes the provision of two interceptor vessels for use by the local Coast Guard.
General Fraser noted that further assistance including training, equipment donations and project funding will be provided by various U.S. agencies to achieve the objectives of the CBSI.
Prime Minister Douglas meanwhile described the discussions as productive and timely, indicating that common security issues shared by both countries were highlighted in the meeting. These included transnational criminal organizations which conduct various illicit activities such as the trafficking of drugs, arms, humans and large bulks of money.
The meeting was held at Government Headquarters Basseterre on Wednesday 11th May, 2011.