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Haiti could return to CARICOM

Jamaica Gleaner

Haiti could return to CARICOM

10 February 2006

Ross Sheil, Staff Reporter

HAITI CAN return as a member of Caribbean Community (CARICOM) after its elections, says Prime Minister P.J. Patterson.

Mr. Patterson made the announce-ment during a press conference in Trinidad on Wednesday following his final chairing of the CARICOM Prime Ministerial Sub-Committee on External Negotiations, during which Haiti’s readmission was discussed. The conference was telecast to journalists assembled at the Office of the Prime Minister’s press centre in St. Andrew on Wednesday evening.

With the presence of CARICOM monitors, and other such organisations on the ground, including 9,000 United Nations troops, he said he was satisfied the elections were free and fair.

"Once the results are certified, I see no reason why Haiti should not be readmitted as an active member in CARICOM," he said.

CARICOM had suspended Haiti’s membership, accusing the United States and France of helping oust then President Jean-Bertrand Aristide two years ago. Mr. Aristide is now living in exile in South Africa.