A meeting took place January 25, 2005 between the Dominican ambassador and representatives of Haitian political parties on relations between the Dominican Republic and Haiti. The Dominican diplomat talked about exchanges between politicians of both countries. Ambassador Jose Serrulle Ramia said, “We want to bring Haitian and Dominican politicians together and I want to work to make it happen as soon as possible. We can do it here or over there. I believe that we can start here and go over there later. We know very well that there is a very sensitive process in Haiti. But as for me, I am very optimistic. I am a very optimistic person.”

Former Lavalas Prime Minister Jean-Marie Cherestal hailed this initiative of the Dominican ambassador and underscored the importance of the relations between these two nations. He also spoke of the role played by the Cari-Forum, a mechanism set up by the European Union on cooperation between both countries. Cherestal said, “This Cari-Forum was the means that made it possible for Haitians and Dominicans to sit at the table to defend our rights and means that were made available for the region.”

Guy Philippe of the Front for National Reconstruction, FRN, who was present in this meeting at the residence of the Dominican ambassador, insisted on the necessity for the political class to stand united to deal with the current situation. He expressed appreciation to the Dominican ambassador for his understanding of the situation between the two countries.

Evans Paul, who was also in this same meeting yesterday, considers the ambassador’s initiative positive. He underscored the necessity for these two nations to be on good terms. He said, “I believe that it is necessary for both nations to join their efforts to fight against poverty and to fight for social stability. I understand that people like the Dominican ambassador understand the necessity for a real political change to take place in Haiti to improve the living conditions of the people here in Haiti so that the Dominican Republic will not have to pay the consequences.”

Victor Benoit of the National Congress of Democratic Movements, Konakom, encourages the Dominican ambassador to contribute to the strengthening of relations between the two countries. He supports the efforts of the Haitian political class to facilitate dialogue among the members.