Concrete Steps Taken by St Kitts and Nevis and Swaziland to Establish a Visa-Free Regime

An active member of the Commonwealth of Nations, St Kitts and Nevis sent a delegation to London for the 25th Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), which took place from 16-20 April 2018.

In line with the Meeting theme, ‘Towards a Common Future,’ the delegation engaged in high-level talks with representatives of all other 52 Commonwealth nations, discussing key matters such as prosperity, security, fairness, and sustainability.

The side-lines of the CHOGM were equally important to St Kitts and Nevis, as they provided an opportunity for close collaboration and discussion on bilateral matters. One major development was the meeting between the Honourable Mark Brantley, Foreign Minister of the Federation, and the Honourable Mbuso Clement Dlamini, acting Minister of Foreign Affairs of Swaziland.

At the meeting, which saw the smallest African and American nations come together to share ideas for cooperation and growth, the two Ministers determined that the time was ripe to finalise a visa-free agreement for ordinary passport holders.

Minister Dlamini went as far as to place a likely timeframe on the agreement, noting that it was highly probable that the two nations would be able to sign an agreement at the 2018 UN General Assembly in New York.

Minister Brantley noted the importance of developing relations with African nations

Minister Brantley noted the importance of developing relations with African nations, highlighting a shift in the foreign policy of St Kitts and Nevis: “while, due to geography, we have looked north for cooperation, we share common historical reasons why we should look south to increase and enhance our interaction.”

St Kitts and Nevis can already offer its citizens more than 150 visa-free or visa-on-arrival destinations, including Russia. It is one of the most dynamic countries in the Caribbean, vigorously pursuing stronger rapports with partners and allies, whether these be regional or intercontinental.

And, as they watch Swaziland set itself as the next in a long line of countries looking to improve relations with the Federation, citizens of St Kitts and Nevis can look forward to greater mobility, better relations, and increased freedom.