WASHINGTON (Reuters) -Washington is confident of securing a U.N. Security Council resolution and finding nations to lead a task force in early November to address the humanitarian crisis in Haiti, Assistant Secretary of State Brian Nichols said on Wednesday.
Briefing reporters on a visit by Secretary of State Antony Blinken to Canada beginning on Thursday, Nichols, the top State Department official for Western Hemisphere affairs, told reporters the composition of a multinational task force proposed by Haiti would be discussed during the visit.
U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has said "a rapid action force" should help Haiti's police confront gangs that have created a humanitarian crisis by blocking access to a key fuel terminal.
McClatchy and the Miami Herald reported on Tuesday that a U.S.-backed resolution on the initiative was on the verge of failure unless a foreign partner steps forward to offer personnel for the force, citing multiple unnamed sources.
So far, no country has offered to lead the force, though The Bahamas has said it could send troops or police if asked to do so.
"I strongly disagree with the idea that a resolution authorizing a multinational force is in peril," Nichols said, adding that he expected the leadership of the force to become clear as talks move forward in the coming days.
"I'm confident that we will have something early in November, both a resolution and leadership for the force. So I think things are moving very much on schedule," Nichols said.
(Reporting by Simon Lewis and Daphne Psaledakis; Editing by Chris Reese and Jonathan Oatis)