Above: Joe Biden
By the Caribbean Journal staff
United States Vice President Joe Biden and Haiti President Michel Martelly held talks by phone on Wednesday, following a meeting between two during Biden’s visit to Trinidad last month.
Biden reiterated the “United States’ continued long-term support for Haiti’s reconstruction and development as well as its democratic progress,” the White House relayed.
The two sides reportedly discussed areas including “infrastructure development, police and security issues, strengthening the capacity of Haitian Government institutions, and promoting transparency and human rights,” with Biden underscoring the “importance” of the planned legislative elections in Haiti, urging the government to hold elections this year.
That echoed a call made by a number of international observers, including the United Nations.
“Vice President Biden reaffirmed that the United States is a committed friend and partner of Haiti and noted that he looks forward to deepening our cooperation to help Haiti build a more prosperous and secure country for its people,” the White House said.
In a statement, Martelly said the call, which took about an hour, also covered the strengthening of the US-backed Caracol Industrial Park and recent US travel warnings on Haiti.
Martelly’s office said the call was the first in what would be a series of conversations between the National Palace and the White House.
Martelly, who is currently the Chairman of CARICOM, called earlier this year for a US-CARICOM summit that would include President Barack Obama. It’s not clear what progress has been made on that count.