FBI agents assisting in the investigation of the assassination of President Jovenel Moise leave his residence in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, July 15, 2021.
RICARDO ARDUENGO | REUTERS
President Joe Biden said Thursday that the U.S. has no plans to send troops to Haiti in the wake of the assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moise.
“We’re only sending American Marines to our embassy to make sure that they are secure and nothing is out of whack at all. But 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 Thursday.
Haitian officials last week asked the U.S. to deploy troops to protect critical infrastructure in the Caribbean nation following the president’s assassination. Biden’s remarks confirm previous reports from White House officials that the U.S. is not planning to deploy troops.
Mathias Pierre, Haiti’s elections minister, told The Associated Press Thursday that he believes the request for U.S. troops remains relevant. He noted that Haiti needs to create 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,” Pierre told AP. “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.”
Moise was shot dead at his private Port-au-Prince residence last week by a group of gunmen, further fueling political unrest in the Caribbean nation, which was already plagued by gang violence and protests against the late president’s increasingly authoritarian rule.