Jamaica, Haiti invited to G8 Canada meeting

Canada has invited Jamaica and Haiti for talks on development and security on the periphery of this month’s G8 meeting in Huntsville, north of Toronto.

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper said the two Caribbean Community (CARICOM)-member states are among several African, Caribbean and South American countries that he has invited to the talks.

The others are: Algeria, Egypt, Ethiopia, Malawi, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa and Colombia.

The two-day G8 meeting, which takes place from June 25-26, will be followed by another two-day G20 meeting in Toronto, from June 26-27.

“The G8 has a long tradition of developing credible solutions to global challenges in partnership with Africa and others in the international community,” said Harper, adding that the meeting would “broaden representation and maximize results on international development and peace and security issues.”

Canada’s invitation to Jamaica and Haiti at the G8 meeting comes on the heels of last week’s meeting in Barbados on security and other issues between U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and CARICOM community leaders.

Over the years, Haiti has been plagued by security issues; and, recently, Jamaica has had to contend with the outbreak of violence between its security forces and armed civilians loyal to wanted alleged drug trafficker Christopher “Dudus” Coke.

Police in Jamaica say about 70 people have been killed in the violence in west Kingston. Coke is wanted in the United States on drug and gun-trafficking charges. He is still on the run.