Haiti and Dominican Republic hold talks over border issues
PORT AU PRINCE, Haiti (CMC) — Haitian and Dominican Republic senior government officials have engaged each other in discussion in a bid to calm the tensions that have escalated this week following the protest against patrols carried out by the Dominican army since the closure of the border in September.
“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Religious Affairs informs that the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Religious Affairs, Jean-Victor Geneus, spoke with his Dominican counterpart, Roberto Alvarez, following the events of Tuesday, November 7, along the Haitian-Dominican border…during which Dominican soldiers, supported by armoured vehicles and a helicopter, according to observers, violated Haitian territory, apparently in reaction to what they consider to be a Haitian incursion on their territory,” the Chancellery of Haiti said in a statement.
The statement said that faced with this situation, which has generated great tension in the area and discontent among the population, “the two Chancellors agreed to work to calm tensions, in order to avoid any escalation while awaiting a satisfactory solution in accordance with international law.”
“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Religious Affairs reiterates the Government’s desire to continue dialogue and negotiation with the Dominican party and takes the opportunity to appeal for calm and serenity,” the statement added.
On Wednesday, the Dominican Republic confirmed that a group of Haitians entered the country on Tuesday to protest against the patrols.
But speaking at a news conference in the Dominican Republic, Álvarez called on the Haitian authorities to assume their responsibilities.
“We are launching a strong appeal to the Haitian authorities to assume control of order on their territory and avoid new situations which continue to aggravate the already delicate situation such as the incidents recently perpetrated by some of its citizens which provoked the Dominican military,” he said.
Álvarez also denied a press statement issued by the Haitian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in which he is reported to have said that “the incidents that occurred on November 7 were caused by provocative actions carried out by the Army of the Dominican Republic, which include alleged violations of Haitian space, both air and land.
“We affirm that the Dominican Republic has not violated in any way the territorial integrity of Haiti,” said Álvare, adding that the Dominican Republic reiterates its desire “to engage in frank, transparent and responsible dialogue to resolve the current crisis” but also strongly declares that it will take, in accordance with the law, “all necessary measures preserve its territorial integrity.”