– said Minister Todd
By Vishani Ragobeer
THROUGH some Ambassador and High Commissioner vacancies in Guyana’s foreign missions, Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Hugh Todd, has said that the government is engaged in a comprehensive vetting and selection of future appointments.
On Sunday, in an invited comment, Minister Todd acknowledged the appointment in Brazil, the United Kingdom (UK), Qatar, and other countries but noted that the government had inherited several vacancies for Guyanese diplomatic representatives abroad. He highlighted, however, that since this government took office in August, the ministry has been vetting suitable candidates.
“Some of these things can take time because we not only deal with diplomatic postings but we deal with many other national issues as well,” Minister Todd contacted and added: “It’s a balanced approach.”
Last month, Former Member of Parliament Charrandass Persaud was accredited as Guyana’s High Commissioner to India, while earlier in the year, it was reported that Guyana’s longest-serving Former President and Prime Minister, Samuel Hinds had been tipped to be Ambassador Guyana to the United States of America (USA).
It was also reported that Toronto Consul General An Yin Choo will be named Guyana’s Ambassador to China. Choo has been Consul General in Toronto since February 2018 and was once the First Secretary of the Guyana Embassy in Beijing.
“We are working really hard to make sure we can get those vacancies that we have inherited, filled,” Todd asserted on Sunday, adding: “It’s something we give a lot of attention to it. ”
Minister Todd also explained that the vetting and selection of these diplomats is “comprehensive”, where the government does not give priority to any appointment over the others. He also explained that the overarching aim was to ensure that suitable placements were made in the different countries.
“At the end of the day, the representatives in those capitals would have to make sure they could push our national policies there,” Minister Todd underlined.
He further noted that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation is moving forward with its diplomatic appointments in Qatar and the US. He did not reveal who will be the representative for Qatar.
It is important to note, however, that the ministry is working to establish an embassy in Qatar before the end of 2021. Another embassy, which is also expected before the end of 2021, is to be established in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
In a previous interview with the Guyana Chronicle, Minister Todd highlighted that Guyana is strengthening relations with the Middle East. In addition to Qatar, Guyana already has a good relationship with Kuwait and is now proceeding to strengthen its partnership with the UAE.
In January, Minister Todd said the embassies in Qatar and the UAE would be set up. He said efforts were “past the point” and discussions on staffing these embassies had already begun. He also confirmed that an ambassador from Guyana will lead both embassies.