US Secretary of State Blinken wants Canada to help restore order in Haiti
Oct 28, 2022 - 01:49 AM
TRENTON, Canada (AA) – Canada will “help where it can” in Haiti but Foreign Affairs Minister Melanie Joly stopped short Thursday of stating what role it would play to help stabilize the country.
Joly made the remark at a joint news conference in Ottawa alongside US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who arrived for a two-day visit.
Other topics discussed at the news conference included Ukraine and human rights in Iran.
Joly said Canada currently has a delegation in Haiti assessing the situation. She said officials will hold consultations with the UN, the Caribbean community — representatives from 25 countries from the region — and other groups.
Since the assassination of President Jovenel Moise more than 15 months ago, the poorest country in the Western hemisphere has degenerated into chaos, with areas under the control of criminal gangs.
Haiti’s leaders want foreign aid to help stabilize the country, including a “specialized armed force” to bolster police in fighting the gangs, Prime Minister Ariel Henry said earlier.
There is an overwhelming need for food, with the UN saying that the population of 11 million face acute hunger.
The US wants to piece together an international force with Canada playing a role, perhaps a rapid deployment of military and police officers. Earlier this month, Canada delivered armored vehicles to Haiti.
Blinken and Joly also addressed mass demonstrations in Iran, where a woman died in police custody after she was arrested for a hijab violation 40 days ago.
Activists want the regime gone. Blinken said the Iranian regime was guilty of a “vicious crackdown” and was supplying Russia with drones in its war with Ukraine. “It’s appalling,” he said.
Blinken is to meet Prime Minister Justin Trudeau later Thursday before heading to Montreal on Friday where he will visit a lithium battery factory.
Canada and the US are clamoring for electric vehicles to combat climate change.