THOUGH there are some vacant positions for Ambassadors and High Commissioners at Guyana’s overseas missions, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation, Hugh Todd, has said that the government is engaged in a comprehensive process of vetting and selecting future appointees.
On Sunday, in an invited comment, Minister Todd acknowledged that appointments have to be made in Brazil, the United Kingdom (UK), Qatar, and other countries but noted that the government inherited several vacant positions for Guyanese diplomatic representatives abroad. He, however, highlighted that since this government assumed office in August, the ministry has been vetting suitable candidates.
“Some of these things can take time because we are not only dealing with diplomatic postings but we are dealing with many other national issues as well,” Minister Todd related, and added: “It is a balanced approach.”
Last month, Former Member of Parliament, Charrandass Persaud, was accredited as Guyana’s High Commissioner to India, while earlier in the year, it was reported that Former President and Guyana’s longest serving Prime Minister, Samuel Hinds has been tipped to be Guyana’s Ambassador to the United States of America (USA).
It was also reported that the Consul General to Toronto, An Yin Choo, will be named as Guyana’s Ambassador to China. Choo has been the Consulate General in Toronto since February 2018 and she once served as the First Secretary of the Guyana Embassy in Beijing.
“We are working very hard in ensuring that we can have those vacant appointments that we’ve inherited, filled,” Todd asserted on Sunday, adding: “It is something that we are giving a lot of attention to.”
Minister Todd also explained that the process of vetting and selecting these diplomats is a “comprehensive” one, wherein the government is not giving any appointment priority status over the others. Additionally, he explained that the overarching aim is to ensure that suitable placements are made in the various countries.
“At the end of the day, the representatives in those capitals would have to ensure that they are able to push our national policies there,” Minister Todd underscored.
He further noted that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation is moving ahead with its diplomatic appointments in Qatar and the US. He did not disclose who the representative to Qatar will be.
It is important to note, however, that the ministry is working to establish an embassy in Qatar before the end of 2021. Another embassy, which is also expected before the end of 2021, is being established in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
In a previous interview with the Guyana Chronicle, Minister Todd highlighted that Guyana is strengthening ties with the Middle East. In addition to Qatar, Guyana already has good relations with Kuwait and is now forging ahead with strengthening its partnership with the UAE.
In January, Minister Todd said that the embassies in Qatar and the UAE would be established. He said that efforts are “past the midpoint” and that discussions on staffing these embassies have already begun. He also affirmed that both embassies will be headed by an ambassador from Guyana.
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