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6697: Powell testimony reveals Bush support for Aristide (fwd)

From: MKarshan@aol.com

General Colin Powell's testimony reveals Bush administration support for 
President-elect Jean-Bertrand Aristide

In the following testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee this 
past week, General Colin Powell revealed Bush administration recognition and 
support for the 8-point agreement President-elect Jean-Bertrand Aristide made 
with the Clinton administration last month.  The agreement will lead to the 
release of $600 million in international aid to Haiti. Referring to the 
agreement as an "appropriate road map to get started" Powell pointed out that 
the existing 8 points Aristide committed to are  "pretty demanding 
conditions" while not ruling out possible additional demands by the U.S. in 
the future.  The Secretary of State nominee stated that he believes the U.S. 
must "engage with President Aristide" to continue the original goals of the 
U.S. to support democracy and economic development in Haiti creating an 
environment which would encourage Haitians to stay "at home" rather than take 
to the high seas.  

Committee on Foreign Relations
United States Senate
Secretary of State Nomination Part II
Wednesday, January 17, 2001
Washington, D.C.

Senator Dodd:  In late December, the Clinton Administration negotiated an 
agreement with Haiti in which the United States would release some $600 
million in international aid if Haiti agreed to eight specific conditions 
addressing economic, electoral, anti-narcotic, and human rights reforms.  On 
December 27, a few days ago, President Aristide accepted those terms and 
called for closer ties between our two countries.

I wonder if you might think it is time for us to reengage Haiti here, to test 
the determination, if you will, by President Aristide, to live up to those 
conditions.  Since you know a lot about it, I thought I might want to spend a 
minute or so on it.

General Powell:  I am familiar with the paper and I had a chance to review it 
and Secretary Albright and I discussed it.  I was aware that President 
Aristide had sent a letter back accepting those eight conditions.  I was 
asked whether or not he could expect that we would also find those eight 
conditions to be an acceptable road map, if you will.

What we said to the Clinton Administration, which I am confident they have 
communicated to President Aristide, is that we will look at that as an 
appropriate road map to get started, but we do not rule out that we might 
have other conditions or other things we might want to add to that.  Those 
are pretty demanding conditions.

Senator Dodd:  Yes, they are.

Colin Powell:  I think we have to engage with President Aristide.  It seems 
that our goals remain what they were some 10 or 12 years ago, how to get that 
democracy and that economy started and how to keep the Haitian people at home 
and not on the seas heading toward Florida.  That is where we came in.