St. Vincent PM tells Dominican Republic to revoke legislation pertaining to Foreign Nationals

The Dominican Republic’s Ministry of Foreign Relations has described the recent demand by the Prime Minister of St. Vincent & the Grenadines in his letter to President Danilo Medina for the Constitutional Court to alter its recent ruling and grant automatic birthright citizenship as “inappropriate and lacking of all legal basis.” The Prime Minister is protesting the Constitutional Court ruling 168-13 that orders the regularization of the status of foreigners in the Dominican Republic and does not grant automatic Dominican citizenship to everyone born in the country.

In a letter to President Danilo Medina dated Monday 11 November, the Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines Ralph Gonsalves informs that he has written to Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro recommending the Dominican Republic’s suspension from the Caracas-led PetroCaribe initiative.

As you are aware that the IX Summit of Petrocaribe is scheduled for Caracas on December 16, 2013. If the situation for the citizens-by-birth of the Dominican Republic of Haitian descent is not favorably altered, I intend to raise the matter forcefully at this Summit.”

(PERSONAL FILE IMAGE) St. Vincent has also called for the DR to be suspended from the Caribbean Forum (Cariforum).

(PERSONAL FILE IMAGE) St. Vincent has also called for the DR to be suspended from the Caribbean Forum (Cariforum).

In a statement issued yesterday, Wednesday 13 November, the Ministry of Foreign Relations says the Dominican Republic is a sovereign state that has close and cordial relations of cooperation with its other partners in Cariforum that are united by important political, economic, social and cultural ties. The Ministry says that Cariforum is a regional forum for coordination of regional cooperation provided by the European Union through the European Development Funds and all its decisions are taken by consensus of its members. The statement from the Ministry continues by saying that the Dominican Republic actively participates in the implementation of a series of regional programs in diverse areas such as trade development, prevention of natural disasters and quality controls. He said the country is tied by commitments through the Economic Partnership Act (EPA) signed between Cariforum and the European Union in 2008, which was negotiated as a regional block, while commitments are individually taken on by each of the member countries.

The Dominican Republic entered Cariforum when it was created in 1992, after its entry into the Asia, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) group and since then has maintained close ties regarding political and cooperation linkages through the European Development Funds,” says the press release.

The Ministry of Foreign Relations says that it maintains its decision and openness to dialogue with the international community, a position expressed on several occasions by President Danilo Medina while pointing out that respect for the sovereignty of nations is a key point in promoting the understanding among the group.

The Ministry says that at a recent meeting of Cariforum Ministers held in Grenada, the country stated the Medina government firmly respects concepts in the Inter-American Democratic Charter on human rights and fundamental rights as essential to a democracy.

The statement added that the Ministry has been active in a diplomatic campaign abroad to explain the official position on the Constitutional Court ruling to foreign governments to create awareness and objectivity on the situation that it tackles. Earlier this week, the government announced that a mission was traveling to Venezuela to meet with the Maduro government to explain the scope of the Immigration Regularization Plan ordered implemented by the Constitutional Ruling 168-13.

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