Blinken, Joly dodge question of Canada's possible role in military mission in Haiti

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken says the discussions about a multilateral military intervention in Haiti are ongoing and remain a "work in progress."

But neither Blinken nor Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly are saying anything about whether Canada would be expected or has been asked to lead such a mission.

Blinken met with Joly in Ottawa today to kick off a two-day visit to Canada, his first in person since becoming secretary of state.

He says any military mission would be to support Haiti's overwhelmed police forces, and that discussions about who would be involved are taking place with a "variety of countries."

Joly says Haiti is facing a "triple crisis" and requires immediate security and humanitarian help before elections could be held to restore the country's leadership.

Since September, armed gangs have been blockading fuel access, worsening shortages of basic goods, clean water and medical services, all in the midst of an outbreak of cholera.

Canada and the U.S. have sent armoured vehicles, and the United Nations is considering a military intervention to restore order, which has been endorsed by UN Secretary-General António Guterres.

U.S. officials say that resolution is expected to pass by early November, and have expressly mentioned Canada as a candidate to lead such a mission.

Blinken's two-day visit ends in Montreal, where he will visit a lithium recycling plant and talks will focus on trade and electric vehicles.

It comes less than a month after the two leaders met in Washington.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 27, 2022.

The Canadian Press