Categorized | National News

Mitchell Defends High Volume Of Travel

Minister of Foreign Affairs and Immigration Fred Mitchell says the Free National Movement’s (FNM) criticisms about his frequent travels abroad are “senseless” and he will not entertain such attacks.

Opposition members have been criticising the minister for the amount of travelling he has been doing, particularly as it relates to international conferences.

They believe he should be in the country more, tackling national issues.

However, Mr. Mitchell says the FNM is talking “pure foolishness.”

“They [the FNM] think that for some reason there’s some political gain in making statements about travel by the foreign ministry,” he told The Bahama Journal yesterday.

“But you know, it’s just so stupid and doesn’t even bear responding to. The fact is, the ministry is called the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, not home affairs. Foreign affairs have to be conducted overseas. So it’s such a silly thing.”

The minister said that if the FNM is so concerned about what he is doing as minister, then it should speak with former Deputy Prime Minister Brent Symonette, who served as Minister of Foreign Affairs in the previous Ingraham administration.

“Go ask him what he did as the minister, and when they find that out then I will happily point them to the budget of the country,” he said.

“The budget was approved by them in the House of Assembly and nothing has been done extra, so I don’t know what they’re talking about and why they would be so concerned about it. They controlled the Public Accounts Committee. So if they want to know what’s happening, they can go there and subpoena records or whatever they wish.”

Mr. Mitchell said he will not entertain the FNM and its political tactics.

Instead, he says he will focus on the most important matters at hand for the country, which he feels are the economy and unemployment.

“The most important issue for me is the economy,” he said.

“I have to find work for the fellas in Fox Hill. Right now as minister of immigration I am struggling with this issue of people coming up to us asking for work permits for people to be carpenters and masons. I say ‘you’ve got to be joking.’ I can’t do that with guys sitting up in Fox Hill who are skilled carpenters without work.”

At the end of the day, the minister said he’s only doing what’s best for the Bahamian people.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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