U.S. ambassador to U.N. hastily leaves Haiti after gunshots heard at president’s funeral

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield cut short her visit to Haiti on Friday after gunshots were heard at the funeral of the assassinated President Jovenel Moïse, officials said.

Thomas-Greenfield and the U.S. delegation, which also included U.S. Reps. Gregory Meeks of New York and Jeffrey Fortenberry of Nebraka, “arrived safely back in the United States,” the State Department confirmed late Friday afternoon.

The journey to Haiti came at “this critical moment” of the nation’s history when its “leaders must come together to chart a united path that reflects the will of the Haitian people,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said.

“The presidential delegation is safe, and accounted for, in light of the reported shootings outside of the funeral,” she said. “We are deeply concerned about unrest in Haiti.”

While the group departed earlier than expected, a senior administration official said the ambassador was able to meet with Haitian leaders at the funeral, including new Prime Minister Ariel Henry and Claude Joseph, who just stepped down from the position.

“Our delegation is here to bring a message to the Haitian people: You deserve democracy, stability, security, and prosperity, and we stand with you in this time of crisis,” Thomas-Greenfield said in a statement earlier Friday.

“So, we come here in solidarity with the Haitian people during this difficult time. And also, it’s important that we share our condolences with First Lady Martine Moïse and her family. But we also come to show our support for democracy and democratic process.”


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