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From: Stanley Lucas <slucas@iri.org>

Office of the Spokesman

For Immediate Release
October 4, 2001


Haiti: Bringing an End to the Electoral Crisis

The United States welcomes the OAS Secretary General's establishment on October 2nd of a "Group of Friends on Haiti" and strongly supports the
mediation role of the Organization of American States (OAS) in Haiti.
The thirteen countries that form the "Group of Friends," including the
United States, represent broad interest in putting Haiti back on track
in its quest for democracy, economic development, and respect for human
rights.   Now is the time to reach a compromise that will make it
possible for Haiti to move forward.  This is the view that the "Group
of Friends on Haiti" share and support.

Dialogue and reconciliation are essential to resolving Haiti's
electoral crisis, stemming from flawed May 2000 legislative elections.
Haiti will not enjoy a normal relationship with the international
community, including donor countries and institutions, until there is a
formal agreement among the political parties that addresses election
issues, including the creation of a credible electoral council, and
establishes a framework for a national dialogue.

The latest round of negotiations, jointly mediated by the OAS and the
Caribbean Community (CARICOM), achieved important progress but was
suspended in July when the political parties were unable to reach a
final agreement.   The Haitian participants in this process should
return to the negotiating table, focus on the future of their country,
and rise above intransigence and unreasonable conditions.

As a friend of Haiti, the United States supports the Haitian people in
their desire for a better standard of living and a truly representative
government.   The international community can and will help, but
Haitians themselves must find their own way out of this domestic
political crisis.  The United States calls on the Government of Haiti,
the political parties, and civil society to compromise and to make
necessary sacrifices for the benefit of the Haitian people.