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Garcia in round of Commonwealth meetings in London

Gibraltar will be sending a delegation to Rwanda in June to participate in events around the Commonwealth Heads of Government summit in the capital Kigali.

This comes as the Government confirmed that the Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council will be opening an office in Gibraltar to help promote trade links between the Rock and Commonwealth countries post-Brexit.

Additionally, Jared Peralta will be appointed by the Council as their Country Director for Gibraltar.

This was confirmed by the Deputy Chief Minister Dr Joseph Garcia, also the Minister for relations with the Commonwealth, from London where he is engaged in meetings, all with a Commonwealth theme.

These initiatives fall in line with the Government’s policy to develop further Gibraltar’s relationship with the institutions and the member states of the Commonwealth following the UK and Gibraltar’s departure from the European Union, No.6 Convent Place said in a statement.

Dr Garcia discussed that policy during a “positive” meeting at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office with the United Kingdom’s Minister for the Commonwealth and the United Nations, Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon yesterday.

This is the third time that they have met. There was a discussion on the interest of the Government in promoting the Commonwealth in Gibraltar and conversely Gibraltar in the Commonwealth also.

Dr Garcia outlined some steps that had been taken like a seminar held last year on the theme of Brexit, the Commonwealth and new opportunities.

He pointed out that the flag of the Commonwealth had replaced the flag of the EU at Government sites and offices across Gibraltar.

Dr Garcia also had the opportunity to raise these questions with the United Kingdom’s own envoy to the Commonwealth, Philip Parham. The object of the meeting was to exchange views on the role that the Overseas Territories play in the structure of the Commonwealth organisations and to examine the potential for closer links going forward.

Dr Garcia discussed the opportunities for economic and commercial exchanges with the CEO of the Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council (CWEIC), Samantha Cohen.

The Deputy Chief Minister also re-established contact with a number of the larger Commonwealth countries in a series of separate meetings in order to update them on the Government’s wider strategy.

Dr Garcia said: “It has been a hectic schedule in order to take advantage of my time in London and we have had to rush from one meeting to the next. There is considerable interest in Gibraltar among the institutions and members of the Commonwealth post-Brexit. This can only be positive going forward. We are proud to be a part of the Commonwealth family. The Government intends to work hard to continue to raise the profile of Gibraltar in every way possible.”

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