PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, June 13 /PRNewswire/ — Haitian President Jean-
Bertrand Aristide cut short his participation in the United Nations World
Food Summit in Italy this week to return to Haiti to take part in
negotiations being facilitated by the Organization of American States (OAS)
and the Caribbean community (CARICOM) between the government of Haiti, Fanmi
Lavalas, and Convergence, the opposition.  The meetings that began June 10 in
Port-au- Prince were proposed and set by the OAS and were accepted by the
government of Haiti and Fanmi Lavalas.
Upon arriving in Port-au-Prince Tuesday evening from Rome, President Aristide
proceeded directly to the Montana Hotel, the established site of the
negotiations, and held an unexpected press conference with members of the
government, Fanmi Lavalas and the private sector.  The president urged
members of Convergence to sit down directly with members of the government
and Fanmi Lavalas to “talk with each other, Haitian to Haitian.”  As the
president was calling for a peaceful and swift resolution to the political
crisis, Convergence members were concluding their meetings with the OAS and
leaving the hotel, passing up an opportunity to meet and negotiate with the
Again demonstrating his willingness to restart negotiations, President
Aristide said “I have returned to Haiti for the resumption of negotiations so
we can put an end to the suffering of the Haitian people.”
OAS Assistant Secretary-General Luigi Einaudi and St. Lucian Foreign Minister
Julian Hunte, a representative of CARICOM, are overseeing the negotiations. 
Upon completing a special mission to Haiti last month, Einaudi expressed
confidence that the OAS-mediated negotiations happening this week would lead
to an agreement among the three parties.  Convergence, however, continues to
undermine the negotiation process by making extraneous demands to the
government as conditions for resuming talks.  As reported by the Associated
Press, Einaudi said he could no longer accept opposition leaders’ objections
to resuming talks.  “We don’t agree with preconditions,” he said.
“The government and Fanmi Lavalas have been ready and are here today ready to
negotiate,” President Aristide said.
The government of Haiti and Convergence have been involved in a political
impasse stemming from the May 21, 2000 elections, and the government and
Fanmi Lavalas have made significant concessions to resolve the crisis. 
Because of the impasse, the United States has led an economic embargo against
Haiti and is currently withholding more than $500 million in humanitarian
development assistance loans from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).
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SOURCE  Global Market Solutions