UPDATE 1-Blinken to meet virtually with 15 Caribbean foreign ministers on Wednesday

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WASHINGTON, April 20 (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken will meet virtually on Wednesday with 15 foreign ministers of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), State Department spokesman Ned Price said.

“They will discuss a number of issues affecting our region, including climate change and disaster resilience and reinforce the deep bond we share with our Caribbean neighbors,” Price told a regular briefing on Tuesday, adding that the United States was continuing to support the people of St. Vincent after the volcanic eruption there.

The United Nations launched an appeal on Tuesday for $29.2 million to help some 15,000 people displaced when the La Soufriere volcano on the island of St. Vincent, in the eastern Caribbean erupted earlier this month.

The volcano erupted on April 9 after decades of inactivity, spewing dark clouds of ash some 10 km (6 miles) into the air and prompting the evacuation of thousands of people. The volcano has continued to rumble and vent ash. (Reporting by Humeyra Pamuk, Mohammad Zargham, Daphne Psaledakis and David Brunnstrom; Editing by Leslie Adler)

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