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CARICOM Secretary-General Edwin Carrington today reacted with surprise and some disappointment to reports in sections of the regional media that CARICOM had “called for the release from detention of former Prime Minister Yvon Neptune as one of the conditions for recognition of the Interim Administration in Haiti, as well as for a date certain for elections”. Secretary-General Carrington was categorical, stating,

    “No such position was taken by CARICOM Heads. What the Heads have said is that they would expect that the application of justice would be evenhanded, and I presume that is exactly the position of the transitional government”

On the report of the setting of a date for elections as a condition for recognition of the Interim Administration, The Secretary General says” The Heads never put forward any such condition. Everyone in CARICOM is aware that elections in Haiti are the responsibility of the Provisional Electoral Council, and that that is an autonomous body. What we're are hoping is that free and fair elections will take place as early as feasible”

He quoted from the Official Communique of the just-concluded meeting in Grenada:

    “Determined to pursue their commitment to do what is in the best interest of the Haitian people, and mindful that Haiti remains a member of CARICOM, the Heads of Government decided to create a channel for engagement with the Interim Administration of Haiti. To this end they decided to dispatch a five-member CARICOM Ministerial Team to Haiti to discuss recent developments with the Haitian officials”.

The Delegation of Foreign Ministers will be in Haiti 13-14 July 2004.

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