Foreign Affairs Ministry Responsible for Diplomatic Fiasco

By Stephen Kangal, Caroni
November 12, 2009

Trinidad and Tobago News Blog
www.trinidadandtobagonews.com/blog

Paula Gopee-Scoon

Paula Gopee-Scoon

From documented evidence available to me I can state categorically that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is solely responsible for the diplomatic furore involving a Saudi Arabian diplomat, Fawaz Alshubaili and ACP Raymond Craig at the Hyatt Regency Hotel. There is no need for any inquiry in this matter.

The Ministry of National Security was informed by letter twice that Mr. Alshubaili was coming to T&T to perform an official consular function to issue visas to T&T Islamic pilgrims. They were told that the diplomat was a Second Secretary of the Saudi Arabian Ministry of External Affairs, held a Diplomatic Passport with the number given and was being sent on official mission to T&T. I understand that a Protocol Officer from the External Affairs met the diplomat at Piarco and requested the requisite visa waiver.

Why did the Foreign Affairs Ministry not request that Mr. Alshubaili be attached albeit temporarily to the Diplomatic Staff of the Embassy of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in Caracas that is accredited to T&T and be issued with a T&T Diplomatic Identity Card since he was engaged in performing official consular duties? Why did ACP Raymond Craig not contact the Foreign Ministry since he knew before the incident that Mr. Alshubaili was in fact a Saudi Arabian diplomat, had a Diplomatic and had to be treated carefully?

For Minister Gopee-Scoon to reduce the Saudi diplomat to the status of Brian Lara while the latter is on T&T soil to justify police intransigence is pure foolishness. For ACP Raymond Craig to suggest on television that since the Saudi diplomat was not accredited to T&T he can be treated as any ordinary T&T citizen intensifies the level of official foolishness.

If there were reasonable suspicion of Mr. Alshubaili having committed or likely to commit an infringement of our laws he should have been asked to leave forthwith after cancellation of the visa waiver to which he was accorded at Piarco upon arrival.

Failure of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to ascertain before hand where the Saudi Diplomat will be performing his consular functions leaves that Ministry open to a charge of dereliction of duty.

Did the Ministries of National Security and Foreign Affairs exchange information they both had on the Saudi Arabian diplomat as they must?

We are drifting aimlessly from the foolish to the ridiculous with a bunch of political misfits in charge of the destiny of Trinidad and Tobago.

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5 Responses to “Foreign Affairs Ministry Responsible for Diplomatic Fiasco”


  • As A foreign diplomat you can’t just come into a country and set up an office in a hotel room to issue visas to our national. you have to set up an office and advertise it to this effect. It is not proper portocol the Saudi Arabian Goverment should apoloige to our goverment for this cheap act

  • Some would say give our security officials some credit for fearlessly threading into quarters where many in more powerful nations are unprepared to explore due to economic and political reasons. Imagine what could have been prevented in our peaceful country back in 1990, had a little more vigilance was exercised with certain items entering our country via containers.
    It is this and similar stupid dance around so called religious rights , and sensibilities ,why the US Army today is reeling under one of it’s worst catastrophe done by one of it’s own in abase in Texas.
    As a result of 9/11 that country along with European allies , was forced to spend billions to revamp their security service , while the 6ft Saudi religious thug Bin Laden is allegedly running around in the bat caves of ‘rickety Afghanistan,’ and body bags are daily returning home as Obama get grayer by the minute .
    Think of how much lives and millions of taxpayers dollars could have been saved if some official was not forced to do two powerful political families a favor and put the entire Bin Laden clan on a plane, then ship them out of the country without the security authorities being allowed to subject them to questioning.
    Diplomacy has a purpose ,and is obviously your forte Uncle K , but security affairs are a bit more of a delicate matter, especially when our beautiful country is viewed as a convenient trans shipment point, haven for criminals from Guyana to the Middle East, and who knows a soft target for mischievous political rodents .
    In short, better to be safe than sorry. A little apology won’t hurt no one, as all camps were able to garner some cheap publicity. The police for appearing tough on crime, agitated local Muslim activist, and country haters that would seek to destroy God if heavens forbid ,it was revealed that he was a Carnival loving Trini.

  • This is what I expect from a country in fact any country which sees its interest merely beyond its borders and it’s ex-colonial masters. T&T foreign policy-if there’s one have always been on a regional leach dictated by foreigners. We lack insight foresight and. Had our technocrats extended their vision and our stupid arse politicians open their tinny-winy eyes; Trinidad would be a phenomenal, outstripping major capitals in the developed world.
    We need more Ken Julian(s)- not Heart (s)eh, lest we’d have these embarrassing stupid diplomatic issues and stagnation.
    Trinidad does not show or demonstrate its material worth even though we have the brains.- Travel widens one scope.

  • This is nothing more than the police doing what they are told by their masters from theU.S. AND UK e.g. SAUTT. If the police suspected him of being a terrorist why is the head of special branch going into the man’s and not junior officers.By the way is this the same raymond craig who testify against COP BoroughS and said they killed innocent men and planted weapons on them on Lady Young road.If it is the same person now you can understand why Trini is so lawless. The COP can’t pass a lie detector test and the man in charge of the “special branch” admitted to killing innocent men.Who is the police and who is the gangsters

  • I wonder if cousin anthony guilford would holds Randy B aka De Fox , in such high esteem if he was using his Flying Squad to not only flush out kinky head thugs from the bushes of Lavantille and Movant , but was also going after white color crooks like Gillman Hussain and similar privileged folks, with a vengeance with guns blazing back in the days as the top anti criminal huncho.
    The lawlessness in your country has nothing to do with an ambitious Deputy Commissioner my friend.
    As to police vs gangsters commentary. Please note that the police is a mere microcosm of our general population.
    Move beyond pretense of outrage and make a cry for an equal playing field when it comes to justice. Therein,anyone from ‘captain to cook,’ are forced to meet their fate irrespective of their bank account size , political clout, religious standing .

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