KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent – The international airport being build at Argyle and the education and tourism sectors are expected to benefit from Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves’ recent 15-day trip to Bethlehem, Georgia, and Azerbaijan.
Gonsalves told journalists on Wednesday that his discussions with the Palestinian government focused on strengthening relations between both states, education for Vincentians in Palestine and Palestinians pursing studies at post-secondary institutions in St. Vincent.
Talks in Azerbaijan, Gonsalves said, focussed on Vincentians going to that country to study and for investors from Azerbaijan to invest here, particularly in tourism, a significant sector in both Azerbaijan and Georgia.
He further said that Azerbaijan has pledged to support this country with the international airport under construction here and on educational issues.
“There is no question that we are going to get assistance from Azerbaijan on the airport. The question of the terms of assistance and so forth will depend on when they come and visit [and] what information we give them,” he said.
“And I don’t want to talk about ballpark figures, which I spoke to them about. We will wait until they come and when matters are finalised,” Gonsalves said, noting that a team might visit as soon as next month.
Gonsalves said that both Georgia and Azerbaijan are “booming”. Azerbaijan, he said, is making “extraordinary leaps economically”, noting that the country has oil and natural gas.
He said the diplomatic work for the trip was laid when Camillo Gonsalves, this country’s ambassador to the United Nations, visited Azerbaijan last year and Azerbaijan sent an envoy to Kingstown in November.
Gonsalves and the president of Georgia also held talks at the United Nations last year.