Ambassador Audrey Marks speaking at a Luncheon organized by the Jewish advocacy organization, B’nai B’rith International, called for deeper cooperation between Jamaica and Israel in the areas of trade, technology and development. Ambassador Marks was addressing the B’nai B’rith Diplomatic Encounter Series, which enables ambassadors and other Washington officials to directly address the most pressing diplomatic issues of the day.
In his opening remarks, B’nai B’rith CEO, Daniel S. Mariaschin noted that Jamaica’s Jewish community is one of the oldest in the western hemisphere, dating all the way back to the 15th century when Jews fleeing the Inquisition, were received warmly and with open arms in Jamaica. He also pointed out how pleased he was to see Prime Minister Andrew Holness, the first holder of his office to visit the Jewish state.
We see tremendous prospects in this deep bilateral relationship, and B’nai B’rith follows developments on this, and Jamaica’s relationship with the United States and Israel, with great interest. We look forward to learning of new diplomatic developments, and working together to support these efforts.
Ambassador Marks in addressing the audience, focused on the historic, trade and technology relations Jamaica has with the United States and with Israel:
Jamaica and the United States of America have a very strong and fraternal relationship, which has been to our mutual benefit for decades. Historically, Jamaica and Israel have enjoyed and enduring friendship over the years. Israel being the 8th country to establish diplomatic relations with the newly independent Jamaica on August 29th 1962.
She indicated that while the Government of Jamaica is dedicated to maintaining and building relations with traditional partners such as the United States, they see it as a priority to re-establish and build stronger alliances with other friendly countries who share common national, economic and development interest. Ambassador Marks pointed to the recent trip to Israel by Prime Minister Holness as a solid demonstration of the seriousness of expanding and deepening bilateral relations between the two countries.
Stemming from that visit in January, there have been several high level visits of Israeli Officials to Jamaica to have further dialogue on the areas identified for bilateral cooperation. Now we need to explore opportunities for strengthening cooperation in the areas of trade, and water resource management as Jamaica seeks to combat the impact of climate change on the local agriculture industry – she added.
Ambassador Marks closed the session by commending Israel’s ingenuity and resilience, noting that there is so much Jamaica can learn from Israel. She also made sure to extend a Jamaican inviting those present to travel to Jamaica for either business or pleasure.
Ladies and Gentlemen, Jamaica is open and ready for business. The Government of Jamaica is committed to working with our Israeli counterparts to ensure that the promising bilateral partnerships continues to grow from strength to strength.
The B’nai B’rith Diplomatic series is made possible through a generous grant from the B’nai B’rith Jess and Mildred Fisher Memorial Endowment Fund. It brings together diplomats, think tank experts, Washington D.C., professionals and B’nai B’rith members for intimate discussions with ambassadors in Washington.