KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent — This country will not take legal action against the government of the United States as it seeks redress for the arrest of Vincentian Ambassador to the United Nations, Camillo Gonsalves by a cop in New York on March 28.
Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, however, said on Tuesday that there would be a two-pronged — legal and diplomatic — approach to resolving the issue.
He said that Ambassador Gonsalves and the government are in discussion with lawyers in St. Vincent and New York as the government explores its options after a New York Police Department (NYPD) cop arrested the envoy in the lobby of his office building, later citing disorderly conduct.
“I want to make it plain that there is no consideration to bring any legal action against the United States government. The United States government is not the entity which has wronged us in this particular situation,” Gonsalves said.
He said the U.S. government is in the matter to the extent that it is the host country of the United Nations.
“I want to reiterate that this incident does not in any way damage the relations between the United States of America — we have very strong relations — or between the City of New York or the state of New York. But large principles are at stake and we have to pursue the relevant matters to the appropriate authorities,” he said at a press briefing.
“But the wrong was committed by a police officer of the NYPD … which is a department of the mayor’s office of the City of New York. So when people are talking about any possible civil action, we are not talking about any action about the United States government,” he said.
Gonsalves, however, said that as of Tuesday, the United States was yet to respond formally to a March 29 diplomatic note sent by Ambassador to the United States, La Celia Prince.