JIS News

Story Highlights

  • President Martelly said that this will be achieved by pursuing mutually beneficial engagements in sports, tourism and investment
  • The President also thanked the Government and people of Jamaica for helping Haiti right after the devastating 2010 earthquake.
  • He also pointed to the deep friendship between Haiti and Jamaica, noting that despite the language barrier.

President of the Republic of Haiti, His Excellency Michel Martelly, says he will be working to strengthen the strong ties between Jamaica and his country during his three-day State visit to the island.

Mr. Martelly said that this will be achieved by pursuing mutually beneficial engagements in sports, tourism and investment as well as cultural exchanges, among other areas.

“The meetings that we had this morning are very promising. I am sure that Jamaica and Haiti are both strongly committed to benefit for the well-being of both of our people,” he stated.

The Haitian President, who was speaking on Thursday, November 14, at a State Luncheon held in his honour at King’s House, noted that both countries share the same strong historical and cultural bonds, due to their African heritage, which have been strengthened over the centuries.

The President also thanked the Government and people of Jamaica for helping Haiti right after the devastating 2010 earthquake, which killed over 250,000 people.

Governor-General, His Excellency the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen, who hosted the luncheon, said Jamaica appreciates Haiti’s history, its rich cultural heritage and the resilience of the Haitian people, who have faced grave political and socio-economic challenges, as well as severe natural disasters.

He also pointed to the deep friendship between Haiti and Jamaica, noting that despite the language barrier, “our peoples have been interacting for centuries”.

“Indeed, the people-to-people contact flourished and formed the basis for formal policies to advocate and support Haiti’s restoration of peace and democratic stability; the consolidation of governance and economic recovery; as well as Haiti’s rehabilitation in the awful aftermath of the catastrophic January 2010 earthquake,” he stated.

The Governor-General said he was moved by the conversations he has had with the President where he spoke of the hopes and aspirations of the people of Haiti and the enormous challenges the Haitian nation confronts.

“I think we all understand how difficult it is to deliver the programmes for which the people clamour, in a context where the Government is constrained by inadequate resources. Yet, it is important to instill in the hearts of our people, a vision for the growth and development of our countries and a firm belief that in themselves, lies the potential for the realization of that vision,” he said.

Among the dignitaries present at the function were: Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller; former Prime Minister, the Most Hon. P.J. Patterson; several Ministers of Government; and Leader of the Opposition, Andrew Holness.

President Martelly and his 11-member delegation are in Jamaica for a three-day State Visit, where he is participating in talks on a range of bilateral, regional and multilateral issues with Mrs. Simpson Miller and members of the Cabinet, Heads of Executive Agencies and the private sector.

The Haitian Leader’s schedule of activities also includes a visit the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) and Jamaica Broilers in St Catherine. He will also lay a wreath at the monument of Venezuelan liberator Simon Bolivar and meet with members of the Haitian community in Jamaica.

President Martelly and his delegation will leave the island on Friday, November 15.