NIA CHARLESTOWN NEVIS (September 09, 2022) — Hon. Alexis Jeffers, Acting Premier of Nevis, welcomed His Excellency Sandor Marnix Raphaël Varga van Kibéd en Makfalva, Ambassador of the United Kingdom of the Netherlands to St. Kitts and Nevis when he paid a courtesy on September 08, 2022.
Mr. Jeffers who represented Hon. Mark Brantley, Premier of Nevis apologized for his absence while describing the Nevis and St. Kitts as the best place in the west.
“I do believe that we as a small country represent the best that can be found in the western hemisphere but I’m pleased to welcome you and I’m happy that you are here today where we can have some discussions about various things, I’m sure.
The Acting Premier stated that he was aware of the Netherland’s engagement in various areas of mutual interest including industry, agriculture and training all of which are of importance to the overall development of both countries and their people.
“We believe we have a role to play…but it starts with us definitely ensuring that we have the necessary resources and the necessary skill sets here in the Federation, to propel our country forward,” Mr. Jeffers said.
In response, Ambassador Varga who was accompanied by his wife Renee, expressed satisfaction with his visit to St. Kitts and Nevis.
He pointed to the close proximity of St. Kitts and Nevis to islands of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, which he believes should be of mutual benefit to both.
“I am the Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands so it means that we are not only of the Netherlands but also of the Kingdom Islands nearby. Statia is nearby. St. Maarten of course nearby, St. Eustatius and also Aruba, Curacao, Bonaire, and that’s why we have a lot in common. We are really close by. We are neighbours, and we are actually really neighbours because of Statia…
“I would say the interconnection between the islands is very important and I think it should improve. So that’s something I’m happy that [the Caribbean community] CARICOM is also working on and [Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States] OECS countries are working on that. So that will be something for the future to improve,” Ambassador Varga said.
The ambassador had presented his credentials virtually in February 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, this was his first physical official visit to the Federation.
“I had presented my credentials also virtually so it really was now time to be here with you, and to discuss agriculture and industry, maybe also, we have this beautiful… institute in the Netherlands where your diplomats from St. Kitts and Nevis they go there now and then to have diplomatic training. That’s also to get to know Europe and the European Union and the International Court of Justice. So a lot of things we have in common to discuss,” he said.
The ambassador was also accompanied by Mr. Doug Gillanders, Honorary Consul of the Netherlands to St. Kitts and Nevis; and Ms. Jazzee Connor, Foreign Service Officer in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Ambassador Varga and his wife Renee left the Federation via St. Kitts on September 09, 2022, having arrived on September 06.