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Wednesday, 22 November 2017

    (MFA&FT: Brussels: November 22, 2017)

Senator the Honourable Kamina Johnson Smith, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, announces the appointment of Ambassador Dr. Nigel Clarke, as Jamaica’s Ambassador to  the State of Israel and Ambassador Sheila Sealy Monteith as Jamaica’s Ambassador to Belgium and Permanent Representative to the European Union and UNESCO.  Ambassador Sealy Monteith will also serve as non-resident Ambassador to other European countries.

In April 2016, Ambassador Nigel Clarke was appointed as Ambassador plenipotentiary for economic affairs and joined the Prime Minister on the first visit ever by a Head of Government of Jamaica to Israel.  His appointment as non-resident Ambassador to that country solidifies the commitment of the Government to strengthen its outreach to other countries beyond the traditional partnerships, where there is significant scope for deepening bilateral and economic engagements.  Ambassador Clarke is Vice-Chairman of the Economic Growth Council, in addition to holding other important leadership positions in national institutions.

Ambassador Sheila Sealy Monteith is a career diplomat of thirty one years, who served previously as Ambassador to Mexico with concurrent accreditation to Central America and High Commissioner to Belize from 2005 to 2010.  Thereafter, she was appointed High Commissioner to Canada from 2010 to 2014. 

Ambassador Sealy Monteith, who is currently Under-Secretary for Multilateral Affairs in the Ministry, will assume duties in Brussels in December. Her posting there comes at a time when Jamaica’s relations with the European Union and its member countries will take on renewed significance as a result of anticipated developments associated with the post-Cotonou arrangements and Brexit.  These and other factors suggest a strengthening of the already productive relations maintained with our European partners, as well as with the group of African, Caribbean and Pacific countries.

In confirming her confidence in the appointees, Minister Johnson Smith noted that “both are eminently qualified professionals who have given service to the country at the highest levels and in whose hands, I have no doubt, the relations with these important partners will be expanded and redound to mutual benefit”.

The Minister noted that the Government’s thrust to expand opportunities for investment, to seek new avenues for enhanced economic and technical cooperation and to lay the foundation for enhanced trade, will be among the priorities to be pursued by the new diplomatic representatives.  The initiatives to be pursued will also take into account the Government’s stated focus on Jamaica’s Diaspora in these areas.

Ann-Margaret Lim: 499-0625