JOINT PRESS STATEMENT BETWEEN THE REPUBLIC OF SURINAME AND THE FRENCH REPUBLIC ON INCREASED COOPERATION TO MANAGE AND CONTAIN THE FURTHER SPREAD OF THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC IN THE MARONI BASIN
A Ministerial level delegation of the respective Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Regional Development of the Republic of Suriname as well as the Director of National Security, supported by a technical delegation of the respective Ministries of Health, Justice and Police and Defense met, via video-conference, with a delegation of the French Republic headed by the resident Ambassador Antoine Joly, supported by representatives of the Prefecture in French Guiana and the Defense Attaché, on Tuesday 28 April 2020 to continue the discussions on the strengthened cooperation in the face of containing the spread of COVID-19 in the border areas along the Marowijne river.
In underscoring the importance of solidarity, dialogue and cooperation to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, the Surinamese and French authorities exchanged information on the recent actions undertaken by both sides to prevent an outbreak in the border areas. Both sides therefore obtained crucial heath and security intelligence.
As a result of the meeting both sides highlight the following agreements reached:
i. Increasing awareness among the populations along both sides that the border remains closed as one of the measures to manage and contain the further spread of COVID-19;
ii. Identification of available resources (health and security) at the disposal of each side so as to facilitate the cooperation efforts as well as exchange of information on confinement strategies on both sides;
iii. Joint Patrols in identified focus areas along the banks of both sides of the river for reinforced presence of security and law enforcement authorities;
iv. Increased health education to the populations in the border areas in order to prevent an outbreak and providing necessary medical assistance for prevention;
v. Increased inter-action between relevant health and security authorities from both sides so as to exchange information to guarantee the success of measures taken by both sides.
The Surinamese and French representatives reiterated their resolve to continue taking all necessary measures to ensure the health and well-being of the populations living along both sides of the border in the face of containing the further spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In that regard both sides agreed to continue the dialogue at all levels – political, technical and operational.
28 April 2020