PARAMARIBO, Suriname, Mar. 24, CMC - In a bid to strengthen bilateral relations with Suriname the Government of Haiti will be opening a consulate here. Haitian President Michel Martelly who arrived in Suriname on Friday for a two day official visit made the announcement at a meeting in Jarikaba. “Before the end of April we will open a consulate in Paramaribo. Suriname will also establish a diplomatic post in Port-au-Prince," he said. In order to obtain documents such as passports and birth certificates, Haitians living in Suriname have to send requests to Curaçao, French-Guiana or Washington for processing. “Sometime it takes as long as four months before we receive or documents”, said Déjean Fleurentin, chairman of the Haiti-Suriname Cultural Association (ACHS). Thousands of Haitian immigrants are living in Suriname and play a significant role in Suriname’s agriculture and banana sector. Martelly informed his fellow countrymen that the Haitian and Suriname authorities are working closely together to resolve problems regarding Haitian nationals who are living illegally Suriname for many years. Suriname’s minister of Foreign Affairs, Winston Lackin, stated that bilateral talks with the Haitian delegation during the visit of the Haitian President will focus on several issues including efforts to secure rice exports to Haiti. According to Lackin, Haiti needs about 400.000 tonnes rice annually. “We want to secure a portion of that market for our rice farmers”, said the minister. The two nations are also discussing the establishment of direct flights between Paramaribo and Port-au-Prince. On Sunday, Suriname and Haiti will sign a bilateral agreement regarding cooperation in several fields and sectors.