US delegation meets with Haitian officials

U.S. officials traveled to Haiti on Sunday and met with authorities leading an investigation into the assassination of the country’s president, Jovenel Moïse, as well as the country’s acting prime minister, the White House said.

Officials from the departments of Justice, Homeland Security and State, as well as the White House National Security Council (NSC), traveled to Haiti to review the country’s security and assist with the investigation.

NSC spokeswoman Emily Horne said that U.S. officials met with acting Prime Minister Claude Joseph and Prime Minister-Designate Ariel Henry in a joint meeting “to encourage open and constructive dialogue to reach a political accord that can enable the country to hold free and fair elections.” The U.S. delegation also met with Joseph Lambert, who leads Haiti’s Senate.

“The delegation reviewed the security of critical infrastructure with Haitian government officials and met with the Haitian National Police, who are leading the investigation into the assassination,” Horne said.

“In all their meetings the delegation committed to supporting the Haitian government as it seeks justice in this case and affirmed the United States’ support for the people of Haiti in this challenging time,” she continued. “The United States stands with Haiti in becoming a safer, more democratic country.”

President Biden was briefed on the situation in Haiti on Monday morning, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said at a later press briefing. She said there were no new announcements on U.S. assistance to Haiti but described the conversations between U.S. and Haitian officials as in their early stages. 

Haiti has requested U.S. troops to help Haiti guard critical infrastructure as the country grapples with unrest following Moïse’s assassination last week. The U.S. had been expected to send a delegation to Haiti to determine how they can assist, but the U.S. does not currently have plans to send military support to the Caribbean nation. The Haitian government has also requested security assistance from the United Nations.

“We definitely need assistance and we’ve asked our international partners for help,” Joseph told The Associated Press in an interview Friday. “We believe our partners can assist the national police in resolving the situation.”

Meanwhile, Haitian authorities over the weekend arrested a man who is suspected of planning the assassination. Haitian authorities say that 28 people were involved in the assassination, including 26 Colombians and two Haitian Americans. Several suspects have been arrested by Haitian authorities.

Updated at 1:03 p.m. 

Tags Haiti Haiti assassination Jen Psaki Joe Biden
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