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Published on January 8, 2014
By Joseph Guyler Delva

PORT AU PRINCE, Haiti (HCNN) — Haiti’s prime minister, Laurent Lamothe, said on Monday that the citizenship issue caused by a constitutional court ruling in the Dominican Republic should be solved through dialogue, as a high level joint commission established by both Caribbean countries prepared to meet on Tuesday.

Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe

Lamothe, who is heading the Haitian delegation during the talks, which were to take place in the Haitian northern town of Ouanaminthe near the Haitian-Dominican border, said the problems caused by the ruling that strips citizenship from thousands of Dominicans of Haitian descent should be solved through constructive discussions.

“We want to engage in a constructive dialogue with the Dominican Republic to find a solution that protects the interests of all parties,” Lamothe told HCNN on Monday.

The ten-member commission, five on the Dominican side and five on the Haitian side, will discuss migration, commercial, environmental and border security issues. Lamothe will be accompanied by the ministers of foreign affairs, commerce and interior, among other officials.

Haitian President Michel Martelly also expressed last week the commitment of his administration to dialogue and denied that the two countries that share the island of Hispaniola were engaged in any conflict.

“Now there is a dialogue which has been established between Haiti and the Dominican Republic, because there are a lot of problems to solve, among them, the denationalization issue,” said Martelly.

“The Dominican Constitutional Tribunal took a decision that hampers humanity because it has to do with human rights,” stated Martelly.

The Haitian leader conceded that the ruling issued last year by the Dominican Constitutional Court not only affected Dominicans of Haitian descent, but pointed out the fact that those rendered stateless by the court decision were for the most part of Haitian origin.

“We are concerned because as a country we have always defended the oppressed,” said Martelly.

“So we feel concerned when they talk about denationalizing people,” he explained.

Haitian authorities hope that their Dominican counterparts will find a way to get around the consequences of the ruling.

“It is question of judicial decisions, which, in our opinion, do not stand to reason,” said Martelly.

“But when a tribunal in a country issues a ruling, it is through debates, through another ruling or through political decisions that they may be overturned”, he said.

“It is not a question of engaging in a conflict, it is question of sitting together, to reflect and see how some measures may be circumvented,” insisted Martelly.


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