* The envoy has thanked the Qatari government for swiftly condemning the killing of Haiti's President Jovenel Moise
The bilateral relations between Qatar and Haiti "remain strong and are getting stronger”, without any co-operation or agreement being impacted by the killing of Haiti's President Jovenel Moïse, Haitian ambassador Francois Guillaume II has said.
“As we as a nation regroup and work towards finding solutions to our challenges, we hope to further our collaborative relationship with Qatar specifically in initiatives that would enhance our local capacities; we must now start applying the Haitian home-grown solutions,” the envoy told Gulf Times.
Guillaume II recently had what he described as “a very fruitful meeting” with Qatari government officials on strategies they were putting forth to support Sustainable Equitable Economic Development (SEED) initiatives in Haiti and how this would contribute to an enhanced commercial trade environment between the two countries.
He thanked the Qatari government for swiftly condemning the killing of Moïse, and for showing its “support in overcoming this sombre crossroad in our history”.
The envoy stressed that “the Haitian community, whether in the region, in the diaspora as a whole or in Haiti, is in a state of shock and in mourning”.
“Such an act is not only an attempt at the life of our president but is also an attempt at the dignity of our proud nation. While it is true that Haiti has gone through quite a bit of turmoil, whether with natural disasters or political crises, one must not lose sight of Haiti’s illustrious history, which has many more years of great feats and achievements than the like of what contemporary history reflects.
“Our Haitian communities are really in mourning right now; whether one may have been for or against his policies, most are now expressing sorrow and disbelief that such a barbaric act could happen on our soil,” Guillaume II said.
About addressing inhumane and terrorist acts, as well as dealing with the current challenges vis-à-vis the incident, he pointed out that “the challenge in the very short term is to ensure that this incident does not provoke further destabilising acts that could complicate even more the political environment”.
“I’d like to take this opportunity to clarify that, as per Article 149 of our Constitution, if a presidential vacancy occurs due to resignation, illness, incapacity or death, the prime minister and his government will head the executive branch until the organisation of elections,” he explained. “To that effect, the ad interim Prime Minister, Dr Claude Joseph, and his government are currently in total control of the affairs of the State, ensuring continuity of the State and civil order.”
In the mid-term, the envoy noted that the prime minister will have the daunting task of conferring with all political factions to find a consensual path towards organising elections, scheduled for September this year.
“In the longer term, we will need to ensure that the political gridlocks accompanied by vehement and intransigent positions exhibited since 2018, never find their way into our political discourse again… no matter how unaligned and in disagreement different parties may be from each other.
"Such gridlocks and behaviour only delay the much-needed work and relief that our people are deserving of, and delaying the process that would finally break Haiti into its full economic and statesmanship potential… as we once were,” Guillaume II added.
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