Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Sen. Douglas Slater (File photo)

KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent – The arrest on Wednesday of Camillo Gonsalves, this country’s ambassador to the United Nations, is not a partisan issue but relates to this nation’s sovereignty, Minister of Foreign Affairs Sen. Douglas Slater said Thursday morning.

He made the point as he responded on radio yesterday to opposition comments about the arrest.

“We should band together on this one. I would like to hear some leadership being expressed by the other side so that they demonstrate that this issues is beyond party. It is about national sovereignty,” Slater said.

He said that the arrest was being politicised on radio. “You know, as usual, we try to politicise every little incident in this country. I want to suggest to radio announcers and persons, be careful; just don’t jump to conclusion on issues you really don’t have enough information on.

“And that is a general advice that I think is useful. But especially in this case, this is not a partisan issue. It is about the sovereignty and protection of the rights of our country, our citizens and our country,” Slater further said.

He said that Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves had updated Opposition Leader Arnhim Eustace on the development.

“I would suggest that their spokespersons be guided and understand that there is nothing to gain by suggesting,” Slater said.

He said that senior members of the opposition New Democratic Party were “not very subtly suggesting that – I am trying to find diplomatic language.

“… It is a national issue here and in this thing, we need to come together to support the actions of our government; not the ULP (Unity Labour Party) — our government, our national identity, our sovereignty, our respect.

“It is unfortunate and I was a little disappointed the tone of the comments I heard coming from that person. We have to discourage that,” Slater said.

Communications Consultant in the Office of the Prime Minister, Elson Crick, identified the person of whom Slater spoke as Dr. Linton Lewis, Chairman of the NDP who makes a weekly appearance on a local radio programme.

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