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Haiti pulls envoy over Dominican court decision

October 1, 2013

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — The Haitian government said Tuesday that it is recalling its ambassador in the Dominican Republic’s capital over a court ruling that strips Dominican citizenship from the children of Haitian migrants.

The decision by Haiti’s foreign affairs ministry came almost a week after a ruling by the Dominican Republic’s Constitutional Court. It decided to block citizenship for thousands of people born to Haitian migrant workers since 1929. This could affect some 210,000 Dominican-born people of Haitian descent and around 34,000 born to parents of other nationalities.

“The Chancellery is very concerned about this decision,” the Haitian foreign affairs ministry said in a statement announcing the ambassador’s recall.

Dominican officials have promised to create a path to legal residency for those whose birth certificates are voided, but have provided no details on how this might work.

The court ruling is certain to aggravate already uneasy relations between the two countries, which share the Caribbean island of Hispaniola. Tension has grown between the neighbors after the Haitian government this summer imposed a ban on Dominican chicken and eggs, citing an erroneous report of avian flu in the Dominican Republic.

Haitian officials acknowledged the error but kept the ban in place, without explaining why.

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