Born in Guyana, RAYMOND CHICKRIE was a teacher in the New York City public school system, New York, currently teaching in the Middle East.
OIC Secretary General Meets with the Presidents of Guyana and Suriname in New York
- By Raymond Chickrie
- Published 09/28/2010
|Professor Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu|
Guyana and Suriname are the only two countries in the western hemisphere belonging to the OIC. More recently, Guyana’s President Jagdeo has stepped up ties with the Islamic world with three visits to the Middle East since talking office. Changes in government in both Guyana and Suriname some years ago thawed Middle East ties and participation at OIC forums was sporadic. More recently, both Guyana and Suriname have enhanced ties with the OIC with high level participation at the OIC.
Since taking office in August 2010, Suriname’s new President, Desi Bouterse is set to expand ties with the Islamic world via the forum of the OIC (Organisation of Islamic Conference) and through bilaterally ties. It was Bouterse, the shadow president during the presidency of Jules Wijdenbosh in the 1990s who oversaw Suriname joining the OIC. The two-time coup leader and now democratically elected president of Suriname, Bouterse; in the early 1990s looked East in an effort to attract investors and tap capital after ties with the Netherlands became severely strained. The Bouterse Foreign Policy Initiative emphasis strong ties with India, Indonesia, and Arab nations, Turkey, Brazil and the Caribbean.
Today, in Suiname, under the Bouterse government, the country for the first time has a Muslim Vice President, Robert Ameerali. More striking was the presence of President Bouterse at the recent Eid- ul- Fitr prayer where he joined local Muslims. It’s a serious indication that he is going to engage the Islamic world and more importantly, his government is looking to forge strong ties with the local Muslims of Suriname.