Kingston/New Delhi: Jamaican Foreign Minister Kamina J Smith, addressing a Republic Day event at the Indian High Commission in Kingston, appreciated India for being the first country to respond to Jamaica’s request for vaccines and said that New Delhi is a strong practitioner of South-South Cooperation.
She also said that in August this year both sides will celebrate 60 years of diplomatic relations.
In a series of tweets, she posted: “I was honoured to bring greetings on behalf of the Govt and people of Jamaica at the celebration of #India’s 73rd Republic Day, made even more special as it coincides with the year long celebration of its 75th year of Independence. #RepublicDayIndia.
“We celebrate not only the world’s largest democracy, but its global imprint in religion, math, politics, technology and culture. India was also the first country to respond to Jamaica’s request for #vaccine assistance and is a strong practitioner of #SouthSouthCooperation.
“In August this year we will also celebrate 60 years of diplomatic relations. We look forward to the continued peace, prosperity, growth and development of the Govt and people of the Republic of India – a strong, rich, dynamic, and vibrant nation.”
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar thanked her for the message, and said that India will always stand with Jamaica. “Thank you for your heartfelt message FM @kaminajsmith. Our cooperation has been exemplary. We will always stand with our Jamaican friends,” he said in a tweet.
The Caribbean island country of Jamaica received its first doses of vaccines to fight COVID-19, on March 8, 2021 with 50,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccines, a gift from the Government of the India, arriving via a charter flight at the Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston.
Prime Minister Andrew Holness, Foreign Affairs Minister Kamina Johnson Smith and Health Minister Dr Christopher Tufton were present at the airport along with Indian High Commissioner Masakui Rungsung to welcome the consignment. The vaccines arrived as Jamaica was grappling with a surge in COVID-19 cases.