President Joe Biden reaffirmed that he has no plan to dispatch U.S. forces to Haiti at the moment after its interim leader asked for U.S. troop deployment to help protect the country’s infrastructure amid turbulence following the assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moise.
“The idea of sending American forces into Haiti is not on the agenda at this moment,” Biden said at a joint press conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Thursday, July 15, CNBC reported.
But Biden said that he is only sending American Marines to the U.S. embassy “to make sure that they are secure and nothing is out of whack at all.”
Haiti’s interim government last week sent letters to both the United States and the United Nations office, requesting them to deploy troops to help reestablish security and protect key infrastructure across the Caribbean nation in the wake of President Moise’s murder.
The Biden administration rebuffed the request, saying there is no plan to provide U.S. military assistance at this time, but said it would send senior FBI and Homeland Security officials to help investigate the murder.
“The United States remains engaged and in close consultations with our Haitian and international partners to support the Haitian people in the aftermath of the assassination of the president,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said.
In a response from the United Nations, Jose Luis Diaz, spokesman for the U.N. Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs, said that “the dispatch of troops under any circumstances would be a matter for the Security Council to decide.”
The Associated Press cited Haiti’s elections minister Mathias Pierre saying on Thursday that he believes the request for U.S. troops remains relevant, noting that Haiti needs a safe environment for the upcoming elections in 120 days.
“This is not a closed door. The evolution of the situation will determine the outcome. In the meantime, the government is doing everything we can to stabilize the country, return to a normal environment and organize elections while trying to come to a political agreement with most political parties,” Pierre said. Haiti fell into chaos after President Moise was shot dead at his home in Port-au-Prince last week by a group of gunmen, which further fuels the unrest in the country already plagued by gang violence and protests against the late president’s increasingly authoritarian rule, according to CNBC.