Dominican President and parties sign pact on Haiti crisis

Santo Domingo, 26 Oct (EFE).- Dominican President Luis Abinader, almost thirty political forces (none from the main opposition) and twenty intellectuals, including university presidents, signed a pact on Thursday in Santo Domingo to define positions on the crisis in neighboring Haiti.

Prior to the signing of the so-called “National Pact for the Formulation and Execution of State Policies,” Abinader said that the Dominican Republic must reach a consensus to face the crisis in Haiti with a patriotic and humane sense.

The Dominican president described the situation in neighboring country’s as “almost unique” in the region and “very special” in the world.

He also emphasized that the main opposition parties that did not sign the document, the Dominican Liberation Party (PLD) and the Popular Force (FP), among others, “will always have the door open to participate in this decision-making process,” which he stressed has no partisan bias.

Migration and borders, among the points of agreement

According to an official statement, the document is based on the foreign, migration, border and economic policies that the government proposes given the crisis in Haiti and how it affects relations between the two bordering nations.

The text assures that the Dominican Republic is “willing to stimulate and support” the international community in the efforts to rescue and rebuild Haiti, provided that the solutions are aimed at achieving peace and providing economic assistance to the country and its people through a medium- and long-term Growth and Development Plan.

Likewise, it advocates that the international community encourage the institutionalization of Haiti and guarantee respect for the territorial and demographic integrity of the two nations that share the island.

With regard to migration policy, it stressed that the Dominican Republic was currently facing a phenomenon that was no longer just a migration problem, but had become an “imminent challenge to national and regional security” that was affecting its legal and institutional system due to its magnitude and complexity.

The document states that the country defends the principle of the proper regulation of the entry and transit of migrants through its borders, as well as the permanence and work of foreigners duly authorized to live and interact on Dominican soil, in accordance with legal provisions.

Regarding the border issue, the pact states that it is a “great patriotic commitment” of every Dominican and the State to safeguard the integrity of its borders, as well as coexistence, without giving up or retreating in the domain and responsible management of the territory.

There is currently a crisis between the Dominican Republic and Haiti due to the construction of a canal on the Haitian side of the border to take water from the Masacre or Dajabón River, which the Dominican government calls “illegal” and considers a violation of the Treaty for Peace, Perpetual Friendship and Arbitration signed by the two nations in 1929.

In response, in mid-September, Abinader decreed a series of measures, including the total closure of the borders, and although a month later he made those decisions more flexible for the gradual opening of binational markets, the Haitians have decided not to participate in this commercial exchange. EFE


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