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a49: US-Haiti (fwd)

From: Greg Chamberlain <GregChamberlain@compuserve.com>

   WASHINGTON, Dec 18 (AP) -- The United States appealed on Tuesday to the
Haitian government and opposition parties to reach an agreement in their
long-running conflict over election issues.
   The appeal following a day of violence in Haiti in which government
forces were able to put down an apparent coup attempt.
   State Department spokesman Richard Boucher condemned the commando raid
on the National Palace that took place in the pre-dawn hours. Seven were
killed during the raid and the mob violence that followed.
   The violence, Boucher said, "underscores the need for dialogue and
reconciliation among all elements of Haitian society."
   "The Organization of American States has actively pursued efforts to
broker a resolution to Haiti's electoral crisis, and we have strongly
supported the OAS secretary general in these efforts."
   He called on the government political party, Lavalas, and the opposition
coalition, the Democratic Convergence, to participate in OAS mediation
efforts to resolve election issues.
   He also urged Haitian authorities to protect the rights of all Haitians
and to take appropriate measures to discourage vigilante actions, to
respect the rule of law and to maintain order.