By KHRISNA RUSSELL
Deputy Chief Reporter
FORMER Foreign Affairs Minister Fred Mitchell has suggested the government should be doing more to warn Bahamians of the potential travel risks associated with the United States' and Iran's ongoing tension.
Mr Mitchell, Progressive Liberal Party chairman, said the Minnis administration must get its "foreign affairs act together", pointing to conflicting positions emanating from government officials.
This week, Foreign Affairs Minister Darren Henfield said while the government was monitoring the situation, officials did not think that Bahamians travelling around the world needed to be on special alert. However he also said officials were in talks with the American Embassy and local law enforcement about "any need to beef up security in the interim" until there was a de-escalation between the US and Iran.
Meanwhile, Finance Minister K Peter Turnquest has said there is need for concern as the Bahamas is an open and vulnerable market, which depends heavily on the United States.
According to Mr Mitchell, the Minnis administration should not "approbate and reprobate at the same time on public policy". He said there needed to be unity.
At the same time, he said several steps should have already been taken to make Bahamians aware of potential risks. He said: "By now the foreign ministry under a PLP administration would have done the following: advise our citizens travelling to the Middle East to avoid that area; Bahamians travelling to or living in the Middle East would have been advised to take special precautions and if possible to leave the area. The Bahamas government would have assisted in their evacuation."
Bahamian citizens living in the US should have also been advised to take care, especially students, not to involve themselves in any way in US domestic matters, Mr Mitchell also said.
He said the Bahamas should join the international chorus led by the United Nations Secretary General António Guterres who appealed for peace and restraint in that region, adding a rise in the level of watch and surveillance would have also been announced.
On Friday, the United States announced it killed Major General Qassim Soleimani, the leader of the Quds Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps and, experts said, the second most powerful person in Iran. In recent days, hundreds of thousands of Iranians have taken to the streets to mourn his passing. The killing has raised concerns about a wider conflict and Iran's government has vowed revenge.
However, yesterday the US and Iran stepped back from the brink of possible war with US President Donald Trump indicating he would not respond militarily after no one was harmed in Iran's missile strikes on two Iraqi bases housing American troops.
Editorial View - Page 4
proudloudandfnm 3 years, 4 months ago
I also hope we never see this racist in the PM office.....
joeblow 3 years, 4 months ago
Anyone with common sense has already made the decisions Mitchell suggested, without a government advisory!
TalRussell 3 years, 4 months ago
This is not 'Government in Waiting' Strategy you going need to brungs campaign - if called upon engage in a snap general election, or by election, in heated face-off against a governing power entrenched formidable, deep pocketed political enemy.
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