Foreign Affairs Minister, Senator Kamina Johnson Smith, says Jamaica’s Ambassador to the United States, Audrey Marks, ‘will not be able to attend’ the Republican Party’s Annual Spring Gala.

Her response follows concerns raised yesterday by the Parliamentary Opposition which said Ambassador Marks was to speak at the gala event today.

It also noted that she was to be given an award for leadership. But it said if she were to attend it’d be ‘partisan political pandering’.

This, as the Opposition noted that an ambassador — acting on behalf of Jamaica — should not have an active role in a partisan event of another country.

The Foreign Affairs Minister provided a brief response to Nationwide News yesterday via e-mail.

However, it did not say whether Ambassador Marks was indeed scheduled to speak at the event and/or on what basis. It also did not explain why she’ll not be able to attend. But the Foreign Affairs Minister says she’s pleased the work of Ambassador Marks has been recognized, particularly with respect to the Strategic Engagement Act.

She says the bill is an important effort which will benefit the region.

Yesterday, Opposition Spokesman on Foreign Affairs, Dr. Morais Guy, said if Ambassador Marks spoke at the event it could cause ‘unintended damage’ to Jamaica’s diplomacy in the United States.

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The current US President, Donald Trump, is the titular head of the Republican Party, which controls both the Houses of Congress.