Haiti and the Dominican Republic start talking
The talks between the Dominican Republic and Haiti that took place in Ouanaminthe, Haiti yesterday, Tuesday 7 January were positive for both countries, according to the initial press reports. Local media headlines are that Haiti recognized that the DR has the right to decide on its immigration and nationality policies. Haiti has been lobbying intensely at an international level in protest at Dominican citizenship not being granted to long-time undocumented Haitian immigrants. In the concluding statements, Haiti requested a guarantee that concrete measures would be adopted to safeguard the rights of Haitian citizens and their descendants in the Dominican Republic.
The Dominican delegation confirmed these guarantees and made it clear that the Dominican government would proceed with national legislation in order to provide answers to all of the cases not covered by the Legalization Plan for Foreigners that is currently underway after its implementation was ordered by Constitutional Court Ruling 168-13 that establishes the criteria for Dominican citizenship.
The officials also touched upon environment, trade and security issues and agreed to schedule meetings between specialist delegates for further discussion on these topics.
Dominican Presidency Minister Gustavo Montalvo, and Haitian Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe headed the talks.
Haitian Foreign Minister Pierre Richard Casimir, Minister of Commerce Wilson Laleau, Minister of the Interior David Bazile, and Nesmy Manigat, Regional Director of Aid and Action represented Haiti at the meeting. The DR was also represented by Jose Ramon Fadul and Jose del Castillo, Ministers of Interior and Police and Industry and Commerce respectively, acting Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Trullols and Presidential legal advisor Cesar Pina Toribio.
Observers included Marion Caviano for the European Union, Peter De Clerq for the United Nations and ambassador Coli Granderson for Caricom.
The meeting took place at the premises of the Compagnie Industriel Development (CODEVI), a Dominican-owned free zone in Haiti that employs more than 7,000 workers.
The meeting finished after 3pm when journalists were allowed into the room.
The representatives of the two countries agreed to hold bilateral meetings on the first Monday of each month, the next scheduled for 3 February in the Dominican Republic.
Diario Libre reports that the conclusions of the talks were:
The sovereign right of the Dominican Republic to determine its immigration and nationality policies was recognized and the DR agrees to guarantee the rights of persons of Haitian origin. Haiti has agreed to provide legal documentation to its nationals who travel to the Dominican Republic to work.
Both countries agreed to trade reciprocity to enable trade of products from both countries to go ahead without delay.
It was agreed to regulate the bi-national markets with cooperation from the DR and the European Union.
Agricultural institutions will exchange information to implement adequate measures.
It was agreed to expand Dominican assistance for reforestation in border areas.
Institutions in both countries wagered to protocols for joint combating of organized crime and drug trafficking.
It was agreed that the mixed bilateral commission would be reactivated to follow up on these topics.
Source: DR1, Espacinsular.org
Category: DR News |