Honourable Prime Minister Sarah Wescot Williams described her lunch meeting on Tuesday with French Ambassador Jean – Francois Blarel to the Dutch Kingdom as very informative.
One of the main points of discussion is a proposal by the French Government for the establishment of a "Mixed Commission," that would work out relations between the North and South sides of the island.
Prime Minister Wescot Williams is of the opinion that first and foremost, the respective Governments of the North and South sides of the island need to discuss the issue internally and come to a position with respect to the way forward.
The Government of Sint Maarten will communicate this to the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs mid-May and Sint Maarten’s Minister of Plenipotentiary in The Hague will communicate country Sint Maarten’s position to the French Ambassador no later than the end of May.
A number of details need to be worked out such as whether a new treaty would be drafted or just a Memorandum of Understanding. Other points that came up during the brainstorming session were the composition of the commission; an inventory also needs to be made compiled on future points of discussion.
Other areas discussed were the Customs Treaty; Treaty of Persons Control at the Airports (Dutch and French); and
French proposals for an extradition treaty as well as one on legal assistance regarding court cases.
From the Kingdom Government perspective, these latter two should be based on the treaties of the Council of Europe and this aspect will have to be studied further.
A treaty related to the territorial waters was also discussed. Discussions related to this treaty have been taking place for some time and the Kingdom Government is awaiting a reaction from the French authorities and hopes to have this concluded as soon as possible. The French Ambassador will look into the status of this with the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Paris.