Jamaican prime minister welcomes Chilean president as a "sister"

The first women to be elected head of state in Jamaica and Chile met on Friday, and said their recent victories were a sign of change in the Americas.

"You will always have a sister in Jamaica," Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller told Chilean President Michelle Bachelet. The two embraced and kissed each other on the cheek.

"The fact that both of us have been elected leaders shows there is a positive change taking place in the Americas," Simpson Miller said at a joint news conference.

Simpson Miller and Bachelet, who both took office in March, said they will remove visa restrictions on travel between Chile and Jamaica and work toward establishing air service between the two nations to improve trade. Simpson Miller said the countries will also begin a teacher exchange program to help Jamaican primary students learn Spanish and Chilean students learn English.

Bachelet said they discussed using Montego Bay in northwestern Jamaica as a transshipment hub for Chilean products bound for Europe. She also said Chile hopes to start shipping more Chilean wine and fruit to Jamaican resorts and hotels, reports AP.

O.Ch.