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9981: State Department: Visit of Haitian Foreign Minister (fwd)

From: Robert Benodin <r.benodin@worldnet.att.net>

Visit of Haitian Foreign Minister
(Update to December 7 Taken Question)
Question: Is the Haitian Foreign Minister visiting the U.S.? Comment on his
Answer: On December 7 Haiti’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of
Finance met, at their request, with Lino Gutierrez, Acting Assistant
Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs, and other U.S. officials,
including Permanent Representative to the Organization of American States,
Ambassador Roger Noriega.
The meeting gave us an opportunity to reiterate our solidarity with the
Haitian people and to encourage the Government of Haiti to resolve the
country’s electoral crisis and improve the human rights situation.
We underscored that our significant aid programs in Haiti, administered
through local and international non-governmental organizations, will
continue to provide crucial humanitarian and development assistance directly
to the Haitian people.
We also informed the Haitian ministers that the Government of Haiti has not
made sufficient progress in implementing President Aristide’s eight-point
commitment to resolve flawed elections, improve counternarcotics
cooperation, strengthen democracy, address security and migration issues,
and improve respect for human rights.
The United States will not support international lending and direct
assistance to the Government of Haiti unless authorities resolve the
electoral crisis and implement the eight points.
Department authorities also expressed to the ministers our shock and deep
concern over the brutal murder on December 3 of Haitian journalist Brignol
Lindor. Ambassador Gutierrez observed that a Fanmi Lavalas deputy mayor had
targeted Mr. Lindor and incited a mob to attack him.
We urged the Government of Haiti not only to deplore this murder and bring
the perpetrators to justice, but also to take concrete, visible action to
apply the rule of law to local officials who encourage vigilante action.