President Ali hails late former Prime Minister of Antigua as “true integrationist”

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Late, Sir Lester Bryant Bird, former Prime Minister of Antigua

Former Prime Minister of Antigua, Sir Lester Bryant Bird, passed away this morning at the age of 83.

He was the Caribbean island’s second prime minister.

As condolences poured out throughout the region and beyond, President Dr Irfaan Ali described the former leader as a good friend of Guyana and the Guyanese people.

See below for a Statement by His Excellency Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali President of the Co-operative Republic of Guyana on the passing of Sir Lester Bryant Bird, Former Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda:

It was with profound sadness that I learnt of the passing of Sir Lester Bryant Bird, the former Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda.

Sir Lester was a good friend of Guyana and the Guyanese people. He stood firmly and consistently with us in defence of our sovereignty and territorial integrity, raising his considerable voice in the UN, the Commonwealth and other hemispheric fora.

Sir Lester opened the doors of Antigua and Barbuda to many thousands of Guyanese at a time of economic decline in our country, and in so doing, cemented his legacy as a true integrationist, which will forever be marked in the annals of history.

We are indebted to Sir Lester and Antigua and Barbuda, not only for the generosity towards our people at a time of need, but for the unflinching support of Guyana on the international stage.

The records show that he was highly regarded by all of Guyana’s Executive Presidents with whom he served, from Linden Forbes Burnham to Dr Bharrat Jagdeo.

On behalf of the people of Guyana and on my own behalf, I extend sincere condolences to Sir Lester’s family, friends and the people of Antigua and Barbuda.

Our thoughts and prayers are with you at this difficult time.