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8350: Caribbean Community issue statement of support for Haiti (fwd)

From: Max Blanchet <maxblanchet@worldnet.att.net>

Caribbean Community issue statement of support for Haiti
BBC Monitoring Service - United Kingdom; Jun 17, 2001

The Caribbean Community (Caricom) has issued a statement expressing support
for the commitments recently made to the OAS (Organization of American
States) by Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, who has undertaken to
hold early elections for the seven disputed Senate seats which sparked the
current political crisis. The Caricom ministers again called for the
strengthening of democracy and respect for human rights in Haiti, while
expressing their disappointment at the slow progress and lack of trust
between the various political groups. The following is the text of report by
Caribbean news agency Cana; ellipses as published:

Georgetown, Guyana, 16 June: The Caribbean Community and Common Market
(Caricom) has expressed some disappointment that Haiti's political crisis
has dragged on, despite concerted efforts aimed at finding a resolution.

Caricom's position was stated in a communique released after the Council of
Ministers met in Jamaica this week.

The statement said the ministers "expressed disappointment ... that a
solution acceptable to all parties has not yet been found, and that there
remains a lack of trust and confidence among the main stakeholders in

Following is the statement:

"The member states of the Caribbean Community have followed with continued
interest the evolution of the political crisis in Haiti.

They did so against the background of the region's continued concern about
the political crisis in that country and the impact of that crisis on the
Haitian people, whose democratic, social and economic aspirations it holds

Through their ministerial meeting at the Community Council of Ministers in
Kingston, Jamaica on 14 June, they therefore welcomed the commitments given
by the president of Haiti as contained in his letter to the General Assembly
of the Organization of American States in Costa Rica and the subsequent
adoption of a resolution by that organization in support of strengthening
democracy in Haiti.

These commitments they considered to be encouraging and critical steps
towards the resolution of the post-21 May 2000 electoral difficulties that
have created tensions within Haiti and between Haiti and the international

At the same time the ministers acknowledged the concerns expressed in the
said letter regarding the urgency of normalizing relations between Haiti and
the international financial institutions, and are confident that the
international financial community will respond positively to the steps being
taken by President Aristide to promote political stability in his country.

They expressed satisfaction at the role played by the Caribbean Community in
recent efforts by a joint Caricom/OAS mission dispatched to Haiti to assist
in promoting a resolution to the political impasse in Haiti.

They expressed disappointment, however, that a solution acceptable to all
parties has not yet been found, and that there remains a lack of trust and
confidence among the main stakeholders in that country.

They expressed the hope, however, that the process started by President
Aristide would be continued, widened and deepened with the cooperation of
all parties, with the aim of arriving at an early and definitive resolution
to the political crisis.

Against this background, the ministers supported the call made by the OAS
for the government of Haiti, the political parties and civil society, and
other relevant institutions of Haitian society to commit themselves towards
the creation of a climate of confidence conducive to a broad based
agreement, with a view to resolving the political crisis and strengthening
democracy and respect for human rights in Haiti.

They urge the president of Haiti to continue to widen and deepen his efforts
to start the process of a definitive resolution of the political crisis.

They also welcomed and supported his initial steps in this regard and look
forward to the establishment and installation of a new Provisional Electoral
Council by 25 June 2001, just ten days before the Conference of Caricom
heads of state and government in Nassau, the Bahamas.

The ministers of the member states of the Caribbean Community call upon the
international community to continue to support Haiti in its efforts to
achieve social and economic development and progress.

They recognized that the available financial and technical assistance to
this country at this critical time is of urgency and therefore call on all
involved in the release of these funds to contribute to this process with
the objective of furthering the recently started process of reconciliation
and resolution.

Finally they expressed the hope that Haiti will be able to take up its
position as a full member of the community once the re-run for the seven
contested Senate seats is finalized, in free and fair elections, within the
framework and time-frame outlined in President Aristide's letter.

The recent establishment of a Caricom Office in Haiti in advance of this
event demonstrates the confidence that the Caribbean Community places in the
people of Haiti to speedily resolve their difficulties and thus provide the
opportunity for the government and people of Haiti to join as one with the
government and peoples of the Caribbean Community in this our integration

Source: Cana news agency, Bridgetown, in English 1949 gmt 16 Jun 01

/BBC Monitoring/  BBC.