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JIS News

Prime Minister the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller has described her talks with Haitian President H.E. Rene Preval as a further step in deepening the diplomatic relations between Jamaica and Haiti. She said both leaders applauded the establishment of the Caribbean Single Market (CSM) and that the Haitian President has indicated that his country was now proceeding with technical preparations that would allow it to ratify the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas and eventually participate in the Single Market.
Mrs. Simpson Miller was speaking at a press conference held at Jamaica House on Wednesday (Jan. 3) following bilateral talks with the Haitian President who arrived in the island yesterday for a four-day working visit.
Both leaders and their respective delegation explored a number of avenues for greater cooperation in areas such as tourism, agriculture, education and training, as well as institutional strengthening and improvement in social infrastructure. Mrs. Simpson Miller said the first meeting of the Joint Jamaica/Haiti Commission would be convened in Jamaica during the second quarter of the calendar year to pursue and follow-up on the various proposals.
In the meantime, Haitian President Rene Preval expressed gratitude for the assistance provided to his country in a number of areas including Haiti’s participation as a member of the Caribbean Community. He said Jamaica has always been a friend of Haiti and he welcomed the assurance from Prime Minister Simpson Miller that this would be strengthened.
On the matter of the CSM Mr. Preval said measures were being taken to have Haiti join the single market and that these included the establishment of a CARICOM office in that country. He however pointed out that Haiti was the last country to gain full membership status in CARICOM and that given recent developments, there would be a delay in the completion of the process that would enable his country to participate in the CSM.
Turning to the issue of democracy and stability in Haiti, Mr. Preval said a broad unity government had been implemented in that country following the recent elections and that all Parliamentary representatives recognized that they were automatically a part of the process of governance. He said this had been accepted by the people of Haiti and the county was doing everything to move forward.
Other activities on the first day of the President’s visit included a courtesy call on Governor General the Most Hon. Professor Kenneth Hall. He is also scheduled to plant a tree at Emancipation Park as well as meet with the Leader of the Opposition.