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January 12, 2001

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The Prime Minister of Haiti, H.E. Jacques Édouard Alexis, visited OAS Headquarters in Washington today and met with the Assistant Secretary General of the OAS, Ambassador Luigi Einaudi. The Prime Minister, explaining that he was acting at the request of the President of the Republic of Haiti, His Excellency, René Préval, and of the President-elect, Jean Bertrand Artistide, was accompanied by three senior Haitian officials and by Ambassador Kingsley Layne, Dean of the CARICOM diplomatic corps in Washington D.C.

The Prime Minister and the Assistant Secretary General reviewed the work of the recent OAS Mission to Haiti, which, following the mandate contained in Permanent Council Resolution CP/RES. 772, attempted to identify together with the Government of Haiti and other sectors of the political community and civil society, options and recommendations for resolving difficulties such as those that have arisen from differing interpretations of the Electoral Law, and for further strengthening democracy in Haiti. They also exchanged ideas on the current situation and possible ways forward.

During their meeting, the Prime Minister expressed his Government's appreciation for the cooperation given to Haiti by the OAS over the past decade. The Prime Minister raised, as well, the prospects for the February 7, 2001 inauguration of the new administration to be led by former President Jean Bertrand Aristide. 

The Assistant Secretary General noted that broad political representation and citizen partici-pation are critical to Haitian stability. Noting the consensus reached on this point during his October 13-21, 2000 mission to Haiti, Ambassador Einaudi expressed strong concern over the need to improve security for all Haitians. He also expressed his belief that the document "Éléments de reflexion" that he presented to the Fanmi Lavalas and the Convergence Démocratique last October could serve as a basis for renewed dialogue, particularly if the Haitian government carries through on points covered by President-elect Aristide in his letter of December 27 to the President of the United States.

The Assistant Secretary General added that, on the basis of a request from the Government of Haiti, he could recommend that the OAS renew its efforts in keeping with the terms of CP/RES.772.

The Prime Minister and the Assistant Secretary General agreed that all parties have an obligation to help maintain the peace and to cooperate in efforts to resolve current tensions through dialogue.