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The Bahamas has strong bilateral relationships with the United States and the United Kingdom, represented by an ambassador in Washington and High Commissioner in London. The Bahamas also associates closely with other nations of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM). The Bahamas has diplomatic relations with Cuba. A repatriation agreement was signed with Cuba in 1996, and there are commercial and cultural contacts between the two countries. The Commonwealth of The Bahamas became a member of the United Nations (UN) in 1973 and the Organization of American States (OAS) in 1982.
The Bahamas holds membership in a number of international organizations: the UN and some specialized and related agencies, including Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), International Labour Organization (ILO), International Monetary Fund (IMF), International Telecommunication Union (ITU), World Bank, World Meteorological Organization (WMO), and World Health Organization (WHO); OAS and related agencies, including Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), and Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO); the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), excluding its Caribbean (CARICOM) Single Market and Economy; the International Criminal Police Organization - Interpol; Universal Postal Union (UPU); the IMO (International Maritime Organization); and World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).
The two countries signed accords on diplomatic relations on January 14, 2004. Since both countries have signed a joint communiqué, Sergey Lavrov states that the Bahamas and Russia decided to sign diplomatic missions on the Ambassadorial level. Both countries are members of the United Nations. Russia is represented in the Bahamas through its embassy in New York City.
The Bahamas and the United States historically have had close economic and commercial relations. The countries share ethnic and cultural ties, especially in education; The Bahamas is home to approximately 30,000 American residents. In addition, there are about 110 U.S.-related businesses in The Bahamas and, in 2005, 87% of the 5 million tourists visiting The Bahamas were American.
As a neighbor, The Bahamas and its political stability are especially important to the United States. The U.S. and the Bahamian governments have worked together on reducing crime and addressing migration issues. With the closest island only 45 miles from the coast of Florida, The Bahamas often is used as a gateway for drugs and illegal aliens bound for the United States. The United States and The Bahamas cooperate closely to handle these threats. U.S. assistance and resources have been essential to Bahamian efforts to mitigate the persistent flow of illegal narcotics and migrants through the archipelago. The United States and The Bahamas also actively cooperate on law enforcement, civil aviation, marine research, meteorology, and agricultural issues. The U.S. Navy operates an underwater research facility on Andros Island.
The Department of Homeland Security's Bureau of Customs and Border Protection maintains "preclearance" facilities at the airports in Nassau and Freeport. Travelers to the U.S. are interviewed and inspected before departure, allowing faster connection times in the U.S.
- List of diplomatic missions in the Bahamas
- List of diplomatic missions of the Bahamas
- Visa requirements for Bahamian citizens
- North American Union
- North American Free Trade Agreement
- Free Trade Area of the Americas
- Third Border Initiative
- Caribbean Community
- Caribbean Basin Initiative (CBI)
- Caribbean Basin Trade Partnership Act
- Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative
- This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the CIA World Factbook.
- This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the United States Department of State (Background Notes).
- Establishment of diplomatic missions between the Bahamas and Russia
- United States