After 15 years without a physical presence, Britain has officially reopened its High Commission in The Bahamas signaling “a new dawn for the relationship between The Bahamas and the U.K”.
At an opening ceremony yesterday, Head of the British Diplomatic Service Sir Simon McDonald called the reopening of the High Commission a hugely positive step for the British government and its relationship with The Bahamas.
“Our return to The Bahamas will allow us to deepen our engagement on many global challenges and matters of mutual interest,” he said.
Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis added that the re-opening symbolizes and reaffirms the commitment of the United Kingdom to our long-shared history and our bilateral relations in matters of mutual interest.
“We are grateful for the immediate response efforts of the RAF Mounts Bay which was stationed in Abaco (after Hurricane Dorian), and included the use of helicopter services provided to assist with assessing the damage, and, also one of your ships which helped with delivering supplies,” he said.
“Such events remind us of our shared commitment to combatting the global climate emergency and to further discussions on climate change at the 2020 UN Climate Change Conference to be held in Glasgow, Scotland, in November, 2020.
“I also note our meeting in London for the tenth U.K.-Caribbean Forum and in Rwanda in June for CHOGM 2020. These meetings will allow us to continue to dialogue on a range of matters and to agree on opportunities for shared partnerships for economic growth, trade and investment.
“The Bahamas is committed to the economic partnership agreement with the U.K., which was signed on 27 November, 2019, by our High Commissioner Ellison Greenslade, and which will come into effect after the Brexit transition period ends 31 December, 2020.”
The mission in Nassau is one of four newly opened in the region, and one of 14 diplomatic missions either opened or upgraded around the world over the last two years, a press release noted.
Although the British High Commission closed in June 2005, the relationship with The Bahamas was covered by a non-resident High Commissioners from Kingston, Jamaica.
Sarah Dickson has been appointed the new resident British High Commissioner to The Bahamas.