Biden tells Haitians to 'come together'

Washington (AFP) –


US President Joe Biden called Monday on Haitians to "come together" and the White House said it had not ruled out sending troops at Haiti's request.

"Political leaders need to come together," Biden told reporters.

"The US stands ready to continue to provide assistance and I'll have more for you as we move on," he said, without giving details.

Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters that a delegation of US law enforcement and national security officials who visited Haiti on Sunday noted the country's instability in the wake of president Jovenel Moise's assassination.

"What was clear from their trip is that there is a lack of clarity about the future political leadership," Psaki said.

She said Haiti's request for US troops to deploy and provide security was "still under analysis."

Asked if the White House had ruled out sending troops, she said "no."

The US delegation representing the Department of Justice, Department of Homeland Security, State Department and National Security Council met with top Haitian officials, NSC spokeswoman Emily Horne said.

"The delegation reviewed the security of critical infrastructure with Haitian government officials and met with the Haitian National Police, who are leading the investigation into the assassination," she said.

They also met with top Haitian political leaders, including interim Prime Minister Claude Joseph and Senate President Joseph Lambert, "to encourage open and constructive dialogue to reach a political accord that can enable the country to hold free and fair elections."

Horne said the US team expressed support for "the Haitian government as it seeks justice in this case and affirmed the United States' support for the people of Haiti in this challenging time."

According to Haitian authorities, a hit squad of 28 men -- 26 Colombians and two US citizens -- killed the president in his home, also injuring his wife.

So far, 17 suspects have been arrested, and at least three killed.

But no motive is publicly known and questions are swirling about who might have masterminded the assassination.