Haiti President Michel Martelly traveled to Cadiz, Spain this week for the 22nd Ibero-American Summit of Heads of State and Government, meeting with several leaders from the Americas.
Martelly first visited with Honduran President Porfirio Lobo, with talks focused on access to education and environmental protection. Next week, Honduras will be sending environmental experts to Haiti to work with Haitians on reforestation. Martelly’s government has been pushing a seed planting initiative for the last year. The two sides also spoke of the possibility that Honduras could grant scholarships to young Haitians at the country’s School of Biological Sciences.
Perhaps the most significant talks focused on the potential accession by Haiti into SICA, the Central American Integration System. Honduras is reportedly supporting Haiti’s integration, and will follow up with a meeting on this end. It’s not clear what bearing the potential integration of Haiti into SICA, would have on its relationship with CARICOM.
During talks with Dominican Republic President Danilo Medina, the country’s new president said that adequate measures would be taken to deal with the problem of criminal networks operating on its border with Haiti. Martelly hailed the decision, promising the full support of Haitian authorities in this regard.
The two sides discussed the issue of Haitian students in the Dominican Republic, along with reforestation efforts, with Martelly planning to send the country’s Environment Minister to the Dominican Republic to look at its environmental efforts.
And they additionally addressed the importation of meat from the Dominican Republic, which was banned by Haiti earlier this year following health scares over meat coming from the country.
Medina and Martelly broached the idea of a visit by First Lady Sophia Martelly to the country in 2013.
Martelly spent the trip advocating for foreign investment in Haiti, and looking to increase the country’s profile in regional bodies. “It is high time to give Haiti a leading role in international organizations,” he said.