Friday, June 25, 2004

Hti: I love you, you love me

CARICOM Secretary-General, Edwin Carrington today vehemently denied statements attributed to him in an AFP report of 22 June on Haiti’s relations with the Community.

Mr. Carrington is reported by AFP to have said that the Prime Minister of Haiti’s Transitional Government, Mr. Gerard Latortue needed “to reconsider his country’s withdrawal from the regional organization” and that “Haiti has to recreate the atmosphere which it destroyed.”

The Secretary-General stressed that, “nothing could be further from the truth.”  He said: “The facts are that at no time did Haiti ever withdraw from CARICOM.  In fact, notwithstanding the departure of ex-President Aristide from Port-au-Prince, relations with the Transitional Government, in general, and Prime Minister Latortue in particular, have been close and productive.”  Mr. Carrington referred to several exchanges of correspondence as well as meetings between Haitian and Community officials in Port-au-Prince, at the headquarters of the UN and the OAS as well as in Guadalajara, Mexico and Quito, Ecuador. 

He disclosed that since the middle of April, the Chief Coordinator of the Task Force on Haiti, Mr. Hugh Cholmondeley has been continuously involved with Haitian officials at the highest level in developing a substantial program of collaboration with Haiti.  Heads of Government at next month’s Conference in Grenada will consider this program, he noted.

Mr. Carrington added that the Community Council of Ministers at its meeting last week underscored the need for a speedy resolution of the issues currently inhibiting Haiti’s participation in CARICOM institutions.  Mr. Carrington wondered whether sections of the media were bent on derailing relations between Haiti and the Community, in light of the determination of Heads of Government to remain engaged and to contribute to the humanitarian effort in Haiti and its economic and social development. 

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