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Friday, 15 March, 2002, 13:42 GMT
New Haiti prime minister to reopen dialogue

Parliament in Haiti has overwhelmingly approved the appointment of the new prime minister, Yvon Neptune, who has pledged to reopen dialogue with the opposition.

Mr Neptune, a close friend of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, told parliament his first concern would be to try to resolve the political crisis that was suffocating the Haitian people.

Crucial foreign aid to Haiti was cut after the government was accused by international observers and the opposition of widespread irregularities in parliamentary elections nearly two years ago.

The new prime minister, who has already named his cabinet, also said he will tackle poverty and Haiti's serious social and economic crisis.

His predecessor, Jean-Marie Cherestal, was forced to resign in January as the economic situation deteriorated.

From the newsroom of the BBC World Service

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