Above: Haiti President Michel Martelly with US Secretary of State John Kerry
By the Caribbean Journal staff
Haiti President Michel Martelly held talks Wednesday with United States Secretary of State John Kerry on Wednesday in Washington.
The meeting came ahead of Martelly’s planned meeting Thursday with United States President Barack Obama.
Before the two spoke, Kerry told the media that he had “great respect for the road [Martelly] has put Haiti on and the enormous commitment he has made to transitioning from reconstruction into a long-term development programme.
The US, joined by much of the international community, has been urging Haiti to hold long-delayed legislative and municipal elections, which Martelly said were “now on the horizon.”
That “could for the first time provide the filling out of all the electoral positions in Haiti and begin to stabilize and hopefully build on the progress [Martelly] has achieved with respect to economic development, the improvements in the economy, the improvement in health,” Kerry said.
“The indicators have gone up and that’s the direction we want to see it going,” said Kerry, who pointed to his years in the US Senate in Massachusetts, which has a large Haitian population.
In brief remarks, Martelly said he was in Washington to “talk about the new Haiti, a Haiti who wants to distance itself from aid and prioritize investment so we can create jobs [and] wealth.”