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Suriname president to skip UN and Arab South American meetings
Published on September 19, 2012 Email To Friend    Print Version

By Ray Chickrie
Caribbean News Now contributor

PARAMARIBO, Suriname -- The president of Suriname, Desi Bouterse, will remain home in Paramaribo to present his annual budget to the National Assembly, which is a constitutional obligation that requires him personally to address the Assembly on October 1, according to a spokesman at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Paramaribo in a telephone conversation on Tuesday.

At the UN, he will be represented by the foreign minister of Suriname, Winston Lackin, who will address the UN General Assembly on his behalf. This will also keep the president of Suriname from participating in the Arab South American Summit to be held in Lima, Peru from October 1-2. Presidential envoy Liakat Errol Alibux will represent Suriname at the Arab South American Summit.

Liakat Alibux studied sociology at the University of Erasmus in the Netherlands and has held several cabinet positions in previous governments. Adding to his credentials, he was also appointed in 1983 as prime minister and minister of foreign affairs of Suriname.

Many Arab leaders will stay home as a result of the volatile situation in the Middle East since the Arab Spring started. Uncertainties and pre-occupied with domestics issues, most Arab leaders be represented in Peru at prime ministerial and foreign ministerial levels. The Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad Al Thani; King of Morocco, Mohammed IV; King of Jordan, Abdullah II; the presidents of Lebanon and Palestine, Michel Sulaiman and Mahmoud Abbas, and the prime minister of Kuwait, Jaber Al Sabah, will be in Peru.

One aspect of Bouterse’s foreign policy is closer political and commercial ties with the Middle East, especially with the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) members -- Kuwait, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia. The Bouterse government is looking to attract investments through closer ties with the Middle East and has so far secured about three investments from the region. Suriname is a member of the Arab Development Bank and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).
 
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