Political Instability in Haiti on Agenda for Biden and Trudeau Talks Next Week

President Joe Biden (right) and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau met earlier this year to discuss Haiti (File Photo)

WASHINGTON, DC – The situation in Haiti where political instability has rocked the country since the 2021 assassination of President Jovenelle Moise will be among matters discussed when leaders from the United States and Canada meet in Ottawa next week.

The White House said in a statement that President Joe Biden will travel to Ottawa from March 23-24 and will reaffirm the United States’ commitment to the U.S.-Canada partnership and promote our shared security, shared prosperity, and shared values.

“During the visit, President Biden will meet with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to discuss defense cooperation and …working together on regional challenges, including instability in Haiti,” the statement said.

In January, Trudeau held talks with President  Biden on the ongoing situation in Haiti where efforts are being made to unseat the government of Prime Minister Dr. Ariel Henry.

“The leaders discussed the ongoing crisis in Haiti, and their mutual commitment to work together to support Haitian-led solutions, promote dialogue toward democratic elections, and enhance effective law enforcement capacity,” according to a statement that was issued following the talks.

The two North American countries are engaged in efforts to bring some form of stability to the country where opposition parties have been staging street demonstrations in their efforts to remove from power, Prime Minister Henry, who came to office in July 2021 following the assassination of President Moïse.

In addition, criminal gangs have been staging kidnappings for ransom and other violence acts in defiance of the police and the army.

Both the United States and Canada have imposed economic, and travel bans on prominent Haitians including former presidents, prime ministers, and legislators, whom they have accused of supporting the efforts by the criminal gangs and others to subvert justice and overthrow the government.

Earlier this year, a group of international personalities including heads of state, said the global community has a responsibility toward Haiti even as it questioned whether foreign military intervention would assist in turning around the situation in Port-au-Prince.

Last week, CARICOM   governments reiterated their resolve to continue efforts to encourage dialogue among Haitian stakeholders and to support efforts at finding solutions to the multi-dimensional crisis facing the country.

A statement issued by the Guyana-based CARICOM Secretariat noted that regional leaders with responsibility for Haiti met under the chairmanship of Bahamas Prime Minister Philip Davis, who is also the CARICOM chairman, to receive the report from Jamaica’s Prime Minister Andrew Holness, who led a CARICOM Special Mission to Haiti on February 27.

It said that the mission met with a broad range of Haitian stakeholders to hear their views on the way forward to a Haitian-led solution and demonstrate CARICOM solidarity with Haiti.