- The Washington Times - Monday, April 8, 2002

Last chance for Haiti?
Ambassador Roger Noriega hated to use the words "last chance," but his meaning was clear when he urged Haiti's government to cooperate with a delegation from the Organization of American States investigating political violence.
"It is not sound practice for diplomats to speak of 'last chances' precisely because it is our craft to create opportunities," Mr. Noriega, U.S. ambassador to the OAS, said in a speech on Friday.
"So I will resist characterizing this current round of OAS engagement as its last chance. However, let us say that Haiti cannot afford to squander any more opportunities. We join others in urging Haiti's leaders to make the most of this important, latest opportunity."
The OAS last week sent a delegation headed by Canadian diplomat David Lee to investigate the causes of political violence that gripped the island in December, when supporters of President Jean-Baptiste Aristide attacked his political opponents after an attack on the presidential palace.
The State Department blames Mr. Aristide for widespread human rights abuses and for manipulating elections to ensure the victory of his Lavalas party.
Mr. Noriega noted some positive comments from government leaders but said action was needed.
"What are needed now are concrete acts in support of the mission, concrete actions that create a climate conducive to the resumption of the political negotiations, concrete actions that bring peace and hope to the embattled people of Haiti," he said.
Mr. Noriega praised the choice of Mr. Lee to head the delegation and hoped for "a candid and independent assessment of the reality on the ground."

Diplomatic traffic
Foreign visitors in Washington this week include:
Today
Greek Defense Minister Yannos Papantoniou, who meets Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and Gen. Richard B. Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Tomorrow, he holds talks with National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice and members of Congress.
George Vassiliou, former president of Cyprus, who discusses Cyprus' efforts to join the European Union with invited guests of the Board of Mediterranean Affairs and editors of the Mediterranean Quarterly.
cMembers of the Scottish Parliament, including Roseanna Cunningham, Sylvia Jackson, David McLetchie and Margaret Smith. They will meet with members of Congress and attend functions to celebrate National Tartan Day.
cJanusz Onyszkiewicz, chief spokesman for Solidarity in the 1980s and former Polish defense minister, who discusses the Solidarity movement at a forum sponsored by the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.
cChristina Loh, former Hong Kong legislator and current director of Hong Kong's Civic Exchange environmental movement, who addresses the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.
Tomorrow
NATO Secretary-General George Robertson, who meets President Bush.
Russian Information Minister Mikhail Yurievich Lesin, who holds a 10 a.m. news conference at the National Press Club.
Igor Botan, executive director of the Association for Participatory Democracy of Moldova, who addresses a forum at the International Foundation for Election Systems.
Wednesday
Scottish professors Alice Brown of the University of Edinburgh, Ted Cowan of the University of Glasgow, Richard Finlay of the University of Strathclyde and Fiona Watson of the University of Stirling. They participate in an 11 a.m. forum on National Tartan Day at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. The event is open to the public. More information is at www.nationaltartanday.org.
Thursday
Bulgarian Defense Minister Nikolai Svinarov and Gen. Miho Mihov, chief of the Bulgarian Armed Forces. They will meet officials from the Defense Department, State Department and National Security Council. Mr. Svinarov also addresses the Center for Strategic and International Studies about Bulgaria's efforts to join NATO.

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