Haiti

OAS chief calls for dialogue, end of violence in Haiti

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HAVANA, Jul 6, 2005 (Xinhua via COMTEX) -- Organization of American States (OAS) Secretary-General Jose Miguel Insulza on Wednesday urged dialogue and reconciliation among Haitian political and social parties, and called on armed forces in the country to stop violence to ensure that the general election can be held as planned.

Insulza, who was on a two-day official visit to Haiti, said in the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince that dialogue is the only way to solve the Haitian problem.

The OAS will facilitate dialogue and reconciliation in the troubled Caribbean country and promote public participation in the election, he said, The OAS chief met with members of the Provisional Electoral Council on Wednesday to learn about the preparations for the election.

Although pre-election Haiti is still in chaos, Insulza said he is confident that the election will be held as planned. He also promised logistic support for the election.

Insulza arrived in Port-au-Prince Tuesday to assess the situation prior to Haiti's general election by the end of the year.

On Tuesday, he held a meeting with acting President Boniface Alexandre and Prime Minister Gerard Latortue. He will also meet with other Haitian officials and political leaders.

In the past weeks, there has been a string of violence and kidnappings in Port-au-Prince, mainly in those popular neighborhoods still under the control of followers of ex-President Jean-Bertrand Aristide.

Electoral preparations were largely disrupted by instability and sabotage by anti-government parties, local reports said.

Up to now, only 100 out of the 424 originally planned register centers have been put into operation, and among the 4.5 million eligible voters, only 200,000 have registered for voting, the reports said.