Published On: Sun, Dec 15th, 2019

Prime Minister updates on French side developments

PM Silveria Jacobs

PHILIPSBURG – Prime Minister Silveria Jacobs, supported by the Council of Ministers, decided today, in a second emergency meeting with Police representatives, senior staff of the Ministries of General Affairs, Justice, and TEATT, that Government of St. Maarten will not grant clearance for commercial cargo ships to dock at the Port of St. Maarten nor for the military transportation trucks to be offloaded and transported via the sea to Galisbay as requested by Mme. la Préfète Foucher.

Prime Minister Jacobs could also not grant permission on Saturday to a request from Mme. la Préfète Foucher in relation to allowing a convoy of 4 trucks and 10 cars to traverse from the Oyster pond border point to Bellevue in order for extra gendarmes to enter the French Territory.

Both decisions were taken after extensive deliberation with the stakeholders and with proper consideration of the negative implications, of the ongoing developments on French Saint Martin, for Dutch St. Maarten and with the safety and security of St. Maarten and its people as our main priority. Our solidarity as a St. Martin people will continue to be with our brothers and sisters in the north. We implore all who would escalate the violence to remain calm and seek to resolve the impasse in an amicable manner.

The Government assured their continued cooperation and reiterated that the lines of communication between the two governments will remain open as we continue to monitor any changes and provide updates periodically. We will continue to facilitate safe arrangements for persons and tourists going to and leaving from the French side, as well as facilitating visitors who are currently staying on the French Side. Government has also upon request allowed movement over our borders to render any assistance needed for medical and other emergencies, and pledges to continue to do so in the interest of safety and security.

The Chief of Police Carl John reassured the Council of Ministers and all stakeholders that there was absolutely no increase in any reported activity on the Dutch side that is related to the current situation on French St. Martin, however, the Justice ministry is ready with an operation plan should the situation escalate. Dutch St. Maarten is open for normal day to day business operations, and we continue to welcome our visitors during this high season.