Aristide exile 'perfect Franco-US co-ordination'

1st March 2004, Comments 0 comments

TOKYO, March 1 (AFP) - Ousted Haitian president Jean Bertrand Aristide's flight into exile was the result of intense consultation and "perfect co-ordination" between Paris and Washington, France's foreign minister said Monday.

TOKYO, March 1 (AFP) - Ousted Haitian president Jean Bertrand Aristide's flight into exile was the result of intense consultation and "perfect co-ordination" between Paris and Washington, France's foreign minister said Monday.

The dialogue with the United States since the start of the crisis in Haiti was conducted in an excellent atmosphere and the departure of president Aristide was the result of perfect co-ordination" between the two governments, Dominique de Villepin told reporters here.

De Villepin said he had been in touch with US Secretary of State Colin Powell several times by telephone since Sunday before the choice of the Central African Republic (CAR) as Aristide's destination was decided.

Amid a mounting insurrection and after intense pressure from the international community, Aristide and his wife fled Haiti on Sunday and arrived in the CAR on Monday.

An official of the state protocol department in the capital Bangui said Aristide and his wife would stay for a few days before heading to South Africa, but the foreign ministry in Pretoria said it was not aware of any such plan.

"We had to find a quick way out of this crisis to avoid getting bogged down and avoid the violence escalating, and to bring about the deployment of a multi-national force," de Villepin said.

US Marines arrived in Haiti early Monday to launch an international force to restore order, while French troops and gendarmes were expected later in the day. The final size of the force has not been decided.

De Villepin underlined the importance of sending aid urgently to ease the plight of the increasingly desperate Haitian population.

He said that following the appointment of a caretaker president, "it is now advisable to install a prime minister, and with the ceasefire, to support the move towards national reconciliation."

"All the political forces which renounce violence can take part in this move," said de Villepin, on the first day of a visit to Japan.France is the former colonial ruler of Haiti.

© AFP

                                                              Subject: France news

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