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