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The U.S. State Department reaches out to the Jamaican Diaspora

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Sources tell CaribWorldNews that U.S. State Department officials yesterday afternoon hosted a 45 minute conference call with several Jamaicans from the U.S. Diaspora to reiterate their commitment to helping the Jamaican people and working with the government there.

Julissa Reynoso, Deputy Assistant Secretary at the State Department for Caribbean and Central American Affairs, Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs, was said to be among those leading the meeting which focused largely on what the U.S. and USAID is doing to help fund the fight against crime in Jamaica and the Caribbean region.

Reynoso reportedly said that the U.S. has had `confident cooperation` with Jamaican authorities and are coordinating on other security issues.

She said money from the recent Caribbean Basin Security Initiative will be used in Jamaica to focus on specific areas including rule of law, citizen safety, anti corruption in Jamaica and activities targeting out of school youth.

Meanwhile, Reynoso, sources said, dismissed an ABC news report citing a U.S. official as claiming a link between Jamaica PM Bruce Golding and Coke, insisting that the U.S. does not know the `basis of the allegation and we don`t have information to corroborate that.`

And she insisted: `We have had a good working relationship with the Jamaica government over the last month and we are confident they are working hard to bring law and order to their society.`

The deputy secretary also denied claims that the cancellation of the visas of several Jamaicans during the government`s delay in approving an extradition order for Coke, was related.

`It was coincidental,` Reynosa reportedly said, adding that visas are decided on a person to person basis.

Asked about the possibility of a U.S. ambassador to Jamaica soon, Reynoso said the process has begun and a person selected but a public announcement will be forthcoming at a later date.

The meeting came just days after President Obama, accepted Letters of Credence from Audrey P. Marks, Jamaica`s first female Ambassador to the U.S..

During the meeting, Obama welcomed Marks to Washington and also expressed strong support for the Jamaican government and people and for the continued development of the `strong and abiding` relationship that exists between the countries. And he hailed the joint efforts to counter the growing threat of narcotics and weapons trafficking as the `hallmark` of the close relationship between the two countries.

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