A DELEGATION from the Bahamas government is heading for China for two days of meetings next week between the parties involved in the ongoing negotiations over the Baha Mar resort.
Attorney General Alyson Maynard Gibson will lead the delegation as heads of state protocols cannot be satisfied in time to allow Prime Minister Perry Christie to be received in China.
The meetings are planned to take place on Monday and Tuesday, according to a government statement on Saturday.
The statement read: "Over the last several days, the Government, led by Prime Minister Perry Christie has organised for negotiations to take place between the parties involved in the development and completion of the Baha Mar resort.
"The Government is encouraged by the fact that all three parties have agreed to participate in negotiation meetings scheduled for Monday July 13th and Tuesday July 14th. It is the expectation of the Prime Minister that representatives from Baha Mar Ltd., China State Construction Engineering Corporation and the Export-Import Bank of China will negotiate in good faith and with a goal of coming to an agreement that would allow for the completion and opening of Baha Mar as soon as possible.
"The Government was informed that representatives from China State Construction and EXIM Bank were not in a position to travel outside of China at this time. The Prime Minister remains eager to mediate as requested by the stakeholders. However, there will not be sufficient time in the immediate future to satisfy the People’s Republic of China’s protocol requirements for receiving Heads of State.
"Given this information, the Prime Minister has decided that this meeting is too important to delay. To ensure negotiations happen as soon as possible, the Prime Minister is sending a delegation from the Government of The Bahamas, led by Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs Allyson Maynard Gibson QC, to China to attend the meetings.
"The parties have requested the presence of the Government at the negotiating table. The Prime Minister will remain fully engaged in this matter and available for consultation by the Government of The Bahamas’ delegation or any other party.
The Government of The Bahamas remains committed to ensuring the successful opening of Baha Mar and will continue to act in the best interests of Bahamians. The Government will also continue to be transparent with citizens of The Bahamas on this matter and will provide regular updates as progress is made towards the resolution of this issue."
The Bahamas delegation comprises Allyson Maynard Gibson, Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs; Sir Baltron Bethel, Senior Policy Advisor to the Prime Minister; Creswell Sturrup, Permanent Secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister; Sheila Carey, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Loren Klein, Consultant in the Office of the Attorney General; Deepak Bhatnagar, Financial Advisor in the Office of the Prime Minister; George Hutchison, Acting Director in the Ministry of Works; Shari Moxey, Counsel in the Office of the Attorney General; Kristal Thompson-Bethel, Director in the Office of the Prime Minister; and Charles Robert Reiss, Consultant in the Ministry of Works.