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a542: Haiti: Aristide willing to pay friendly visit to "oppositionbrothers" (fwd)




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

Haiti: Aristide willing to pay friendly visit to "opposition brothers"
BBC Monitoring Service - United Kingdom; Jan 31, 2002


The Press Office of the Presidency has confirmed that the head of state is
considering paying a friendly visit to opposition leaders. Jacques Maurice,
who was unable to give the exact date of this visit, explained that this
friendly visit falls within President Jean-Bertrand Aristide's policy of
meeting the various sectors of national life regarding the electoral
political crisis. The presidency spokesman says they will emphasize the
situation Haiti is facing today.
This means that, according to Maurice, President Aristide's presence with
the Democratic Convergence leaders around the same negotiating table will
prove clearly that the Lavalas government is determined to reach a political
agreement with the Convergence. Maurice provides explanations:
[Maurice - recording] Well, actually this is not something that only dates
from today. This means that the president expressed this desire a long time
ago, as early as 3 May. He reiterated it at the end of the year, because -
[changes thought] After the president had assessed the number of people he
met throughout the year, all sectors including the private sector, the
Catholic Church, the Protestant Church, voodoo followers, doctors, artisans
and artists. After he made this assessment, he felt sad because he had not
met a group of brothers in the country. So, this shows again that he wanted
to meet the opposition brothers.
On his return from the Dominican Republic, he stated clearly that he would
like fraternally to embrace his opposition brothers. He said that he wanted
to give them a sincere, fraternal and patriotic embrace face to face,
privately or publicly, for the good of the Haitian nation, for the future of
the island that two peoples, Haitians and Dominicans, share. He said so and
showed the men that he really meant what he said...
[Unidentified journalist] If I understand correctly, this visit will focus
precisely on the country's political situation. Can you give us a date as to
when the president intends to pay this visit?
[Maurice] No, listen. The president wants to meet them separately if they
wish, individually if they wish, all together if they wish. The president
wants to meet them, and the time depends on them. He wants to meet them
whenever they want, wherever they want. If they wish to meet him in their
homes, the president agrees. If they want to meet him on neutral ground, the
president agrees. If they want to meet him on the premises of - [pauses] at
the National Palace or wherever they want. They can decide on where they
want to meet the president.
The president would like only one thing: he would like the men to sit in
front of him, to talk to him and to tell him exactly what they want.
Source: Signal FM Radio, Port-au-Prince, in Creole 1230 gmt 30 Jan 02
/BBC Monitoring/  BBC.