Prime Minister of St. Maarten Marcel Gumbs and Prime Minister of Curacao Ivar Asjes both dubbed the latter’s visit as important in establishing a basis for continued good relations between the two countries.
PM Asjes continued his working trip to St. Maarten on Monday by meeting with Governor Eugene Holiday, President of Parliament Dr. Lloyd Richardson and Prime Minister Gumbs who was also joined by Minister of Finance Martin Hassink and Minister of Education Rita Bourne-Gumbs. Prime Minister Gumbs also met with Curacao’s Minister of Economic Affairs Stanley Palm on Sunday evening.
PM Asjes said it is always a pleasure coming to St. Maarten and that efforts are underway to strengthen the cooperation across various areas. “We are partners in the Kingdom so have to work together regarding current issues now playing in the Dutch Kingdom,” PM Asjes said.
“We both want to ensure that the rule of law is applied within the Dutch Kingdom and the manner in which our countries deal with each other. Curacao supports the rule of law and we support the correct use of the statute,” he said, adding that Curacao is also working on a proposal regarding the dispute arrangement to present to Aruba and St. Maarten.
PM Asjes also said it is his preference to see the continuation of meeting between the prime ministers of the Dutch Caribbean based on the ARIKOK agreement of 2010. He said it was proposed to PM Gumbs for St. Maarten to host a third meeting in St. Maarten to foster closer ties and strengthen the working relationship.
PM Gumbs said: “We believe that it is important to have and maintain good relations between Kingdom partners. We were able during this visit (of Asjes) to discuss some pending matters affecting both Curacao and St. Maarten, including how to proceed with the Foundation Economic Development SEO (an entity under the former Antillean constellation) and support for St. Maarten regarding various integrity issues.”