US names special envoy to Haiti

US names special envoy to Haiti

The U.S. State Department on Thursday announced the appointment of U.S. Ambassador Daniel Foote as special envoy for Haiti.

"The Special Envoy will engage with Haitian and international partners to facilitate long-term peace and stability and support efforts to hold free and fair presidential and legislative elections," the department said in a press release.

According to the State Department, Foote will also provide assistance in "humanitarian, security, and investigative" areas.

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As special envoy, Foote will "coordinate closely with the National Security Council staff on the administration’s efforts to support the Haitian people and Haiti’s democratic institutions in the aftermath of the tragic assassination of Jovenel Moïse."

Foote has previously served as deputy chief of mission in Haiti as well as U.S. ambassador to Zambia. Foote was withdrawn from his position as ambassador to Zambia in 2019 by the Trump administration after he drew the Zambian government's ire for criticizing the jailing of a gay couple.

Foote criticized the harsh sentencing as well as the Zambian government's refusal to give him a meeting, considering the amount of aid the U.S. provides to the country.

“Both the American taxpayers, and Zambian citizens, deserve a privileged, two-way partnership, not a one-way donation that works out to $200 million per meeting with the head of state,” Foote said in a statement at the time.

Haiti's government this week appointed Ariel Henry to be the new prime minister. Henry, a neurosurgeon, had been appointed by Moïse just days before he was assassinated in his home.