The Ministers discussed a number of issues including the UK Coalition Government's policy towards the Caribbean and the upcoming UK/Caribbean Forum scheduled for the Caribbean. Minister Browne welcomed Minister Hood to the FCO and expressed the hope that they would be able to work together to enhance the long-standing relationship between the two countries. Minister Hood mentioned the concerns expressed by members of CARICOM regarding the recent announcement of the withdrawal of British Warships from the Caribbean, which they felt would seriously impact on the region's ability to fight the illegal drug trade.
The FCO Minister gave the assurance that the UK was not in any way abandoning the Caribbean, but this was part of a cost-cutting exercise being carried out in various departments including Defence. He said, however, that there would not be a total pull-out, since the Royal Navy will continue to provide a permanent presence and grant support including Disaster Relief Operations.
Minister Browne was also pleased to announce that the Department for International Development (DFID) had increased its Foreign Aid Budget across the Caribbean.
The Ministers further discussed the upcoming Olympics to be hosted in London in 2012, and Minister Hood said he was anticipating that Grenada would receive its first Olympic Medal (s). The 7th UK/Caribbean Forum will be hosted by Grenada later this year.