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Last Updated: Monday, 5 July, 2004, 15:17 GMT 16:17 UK
Caribbean urged to re-admit Haiti
Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago Patrick Manning
Manning says it is time to move on
Caribbean leaders are discussing whether to re-establish links with Haiti after the overthrow of its president in February.

The prime minister of Trinidad and Tobago told the BBC that Haiti should be "properly integrated" again.

Other leaders at the regional Caricom summit said they would take the same position, though Jamaica dissented.

Haiti was suspended after former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide left the country.

Mr Aristide was flown out of Haiti on a US-chartered jet as rebels threatened to attack the capital, Port-au-Prince.

What has happened in the past we consider very unfortunate, we don't like it at all. However, we think the time has come to move on.
Trinidad and Tobago PM Patrick Manning
Mr Aristide, who is now in South Africa, says he was forced to leave Haiti against his will - a charge vehemently denied by Washington.

Leaders from the 15-member Caribbean Community (Caricom), meeting in Grenada, are due to vote on whether to re-admit Haiti on Tuesday.

The leader of Trinidad and Tobago, Patrick Manning, has urged Caricom to recognise the new US-backed government of Gerard Latortue.

Mr Manning told the BBC's Caribbean service his fellow leaders were all "equally committed" to adopting a new position on Haiti.


"We believe the time has come for Haiti to be properly integrated into the regional integration movement," he said.

"What has happened in the past we consider very unfortunate, we don't like it at all.

"However, we think the time has come to move on."

There was support from the host nation.

Former Haitian president Jean Bertrand Aristide
Mr Aristide claims he was forced out by the US
"I believe the time has come to engage Haiti even more on the way to advancing democracy and development for the Haitian people," Grenada's Prime Minister Keith Mitchell was quoted as saying by the AP news agency.

AP also quoted officials from Belize and Antigua offering their support, as long as Haiti met certain conditions.

But Jamaican Prime Minister PJ Patterson warned that the "world is watching" Caricom's decision.

He insisted the organisation acted appropriately by not recognising Mr Latortue's government, and showing its "unwavering support in ensuring that we did not flinch in asserting our commitment to upholding the democratic and constitutional process in Haiti".

Prime Minister Said Musa of Belize called for "early elections" in Haiti.

Brazilian peacekeepers recently landed in the country to take over from the US force which intervened during February's rebellion.

UN takes on Haiti relief effort
02 Jun 04  |  Americas
S Africa agrees to host Aristide
13 May 04  |  Africa
Powell vows US support for Haiti
05 Apr 04  |  Americas
Nations shun new Haiti leader
17 Mar 04  |  Americas
Regional rift deepens over Haiti
16 Mar 04  |  Americas
Country profile: Haiti
03 Mar 04  |  Country profiles


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