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8600: Caribbean leaders call on donors to release aid for Haiti (fwd)




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

BBC Monitoring Service - United Kingdom; Jul 8, 2001

Text of report by Caribbean news agency Cana

Nassau, Bahamas, 7 July: The Caribbean Community (Caricom) is urging
international aid donors to make available financial and technical
assistance to Haiti, "without further delay", while efforts continue to
resolve the impasse over democratic governance in that country. In a
statement entitled "Strengthening Democracy in Haiti", released ahead of the
final closing session Friday night of their 22nd annual summit, the Caricom
heads of government:

"Welcomed and expressed strong support for the progress towards an
understanding between the government of Haiti, Lavalas Family (ruling party
of President Aristide) and the Convergence Democratique (coalition of some
15 parties) and the civil society" in the search for a compromise solution
out of the current political problems.

The statement followed a lengthy working session Thursday (5 July) at a
retreat of Caricom leaders. At the retreat, Haitian President Jean Bertrand
Aristide updated his colleagues, along with the secretary-general of the
OAS, Cesar Gavaria, on efforts to have, among other things, a new Electoral
Council in place and fresh senatorial election.

The prime minister of Belize, Said Musa, told a news briefing that "it seems
very clear now that there is a distinct possibility for a compromise
agreement between (Aristide's) Lavalas party and the Democratic
Convergence". Aristide himself was not around for a media briefing or to
participate in the closing session of the summit, having left early Friday
morning for Haiti after participating only in Thursday's retreat with
Caricom leaders.

At stake in a resolution of the democratic governance crisis is the
unfreezing of some 500m US dollars in economic assistance from international
financial institutions and donor countries in Europe and North America.

In their statement Friday, Caricom leaders reviewed the various initiatives
to resolve the political crisis and the progress being made. They then
appealed to the aid donors to release "without further delay" economic
development funds as speedily as possible since the real victims were the
poor Haitian people.

Source: Cana news agency, Bridgetown, in English 1939 gmt 7 Jul 01

/BBC Monitoring/  BBC.