Fw: Travel pool report #3a 4/9/15 -- Full report on POTUS bilat with Jamaican PM

From: Davis, Julie [mailto:xxx@email.com]
Sent: Thursday, April 09, 2015 01:08 PM
To: Allen, Jessica
Subject: Travel pool report #3a 4/9/15 -- Full report on POTUS bilat with Jamaican PM

POTUS and Jamaican PM Portia Simpson Miller sat at a large rectangular wooden conference table with three tropical flower arrangements on it, two each American and Jamaican flags in back and two taller flower arrangements flanking those. Portraits were hanging on the walls and there were wooden columns on two sides. The acoustics were horrible in the cavernous, tile-floored conference room, so please check the transcript for any exact quotes.

Simpson Miller went first, welcoming POTUS to Jamaica and expressing "gratitude" for American support. She noted that the United States is her country's leading trade partner, main tourism market and chief source of foreign direct investment. She said she looked forward to discussing economic reforms, energy security and renewable energy cooperation, bolstered trade and development of emerging technologies. She also cheered POTUS' push to normalize relations with Cuba, saying to him, "You are on the right side of history."

She concluded by telling POTUS how adored he is in Jamaica: "You're very loved in this country."

POTUS went next saying it was his "extraordinary pleasure" to visit Jamaica and thanking Simpson-Miller for the hospitality, saying he knows First Lady Michelle Obama "wishes she was on this trip," and promising to return sometime with his girls. The Jamaican side of the table burst into brief applause at that.

"What we want to do is find out how we can be an even more constructive partner" with Jamaica, the president said. He mentioned climate change, trade, security cooperation."

He also said his visit last night to the Bob Marley museum was "one of the more fun meetings I have had."

They then took questions. A Jamaican reporter asked Simpson Miller about whether she was concerned about American guns coming into Jamaica and she said both the United States and Jamaica are very concerned about it, and that neither country wants to see it happen.

You have POTUS comments on removing Cuba from the list of state sponsors of terrorism. He also spoke briefly about the framework nuclear agreement with Iran, brushing off a question about whether pursuing an opening with Cuba while he is trying to sell the nuclear deal is too heavy of a lift.

"I don't think that will have an impact on Iran," he said of Cuba. "I think people recognize those are two separate issues."

"I'm confident that the framework that was established...gives us now the possibility of achieving our goal without potential military conflict. ...This is not done until it's done."

From the White House, here's the list of meeting attendees --

Jamaica:
Prime Minister, Portia Simpson-Miller
Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator A.J. Nicholson
Minister of Finance and Planning, Dr. Peter Phillips, MP
Minister of Transport, Works and Housing, Dr. Omar Davies, MP
Minister of National Security, Peter Bunting, MP
Minister of Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change, Robert Pickersgill, MP
Minister of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, Phillip Paulwell, MP
Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Anthony Hylton, MP
Minister of Education, Ronald Thwaites, MP
Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries, Labour and Social Security, Derrick Kellier, MP
Ambassador Stephen Vasciannie

US:
President Barack Obama
Luis Moreno, U.S. Ambassador to Jamaica
Ernest J. Moniz, U.S. Secretary of Energy
Susan Rice, Assistant to the President and National Security Advisor
Ben Rhodes, Assistant to the President and Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications and Speechwriting
Caroline Atkinson, Assistant to the President and Deputy National Security Advisor for International Economics
Roberta Jacobson, Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs
Ricardo Zuniga, Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Western Hemisphere Affairs, National Security Council
Elizabeth Martinez, Deputy Chief of Mission, US Embassy

Julie Hirschfeld Davis
White House Correspondent
The New York Times
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