Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Business, Nicholas Steele says that all ambassadors appointed by his near six-month old administration are now armed with their instruments of appointments and ready to take up their new positions.
Addressing a sitting of Parliament last week Friday, the senior government minister put all doubts aside regarding Grenada’s ambassadorial positions particularly in Beijing and New York.
“Mr. Speaker, I am proud to announce that as of today all of our ambassadors have received credentials for Washington DC, New York, Beijing, Havana, Caracas and London, and all individuals will be departing the State within the next week or week and a half to their various missions to take up positions there,” he said.
The foreign affairs minister disclosed that all ambassadors were briefed during a seminar organised by his ministry together with individuals from the Accountant General’s office in the Ministry of Finance to make sure they fully understand their various duties and responsibilities.
Speculations regarding Grenada’s appointed Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China, Karl Hood, surfaced within the past two months regarding alleged personal medical complications that prevented him from taking up the position given to him by the New National Party (NNP) administration.
The former Foreign Affairs Minister under the National Democratic Congress (NDC) was offered a diplomatic posting within months of the February 19 General Election as a replacement for former Ambassador Stephen Fletcher.
Controversial diplomat, Derek James, who was expected to hold the post of Consul General in New York under the Congress Government of Tillman Thomas will serve in that capacity under the new Keith Mitchell regime.
The U.S government had raised concerns with James purported appointment under the Thomas-led Congress since his papers were never processed by Washington.
Former Education Minister, Claris Charles is designated to serve as Ambassador to Cuba replacing Raphael Joseph who served in the post for the past four years, while former Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China, Joslyn Whiteman has been re-assigned to the High Commission in London.
A member of the local Syrian community on the island, Hassan Hadeed who is the Managing Director of Real Value IGA Supermarket and who previously served as non-resident Ambassador-at-large has been re-assigned to serve as Ambassador to Venezuela.
Hadeed is believed to have made significant financial contributions to the NNP’s electoral victory at the polls in February.