The President of the Dominican Republic has defended his decision to close air, sea and land traffic with neighboring Haiti in their dispute over construction of a canal targeting a river that runs through both countries.
President Luis Abinader said in a televised speech on Sunday that the border closures which started Friday will remain in place until construction is halted on the canal, which seeks to use water from the Massacre River to alleviate a drought in Haiti's Maribaroux plain.
He has accused Haiti of violating a 1929 treaty between both countries, stressing that the Massacre River is a key resource for Dominican farmers and that construction could damage the environment, including a wetland.
The full border shutdowns came four days after Mr Abinader announced that his administration had stopped issuing visas to Haitians and had closed the border near the northern town of Dajabon.
He said it was important to raise awareness in the international community so it comes to Haiti's aid.