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VOICE OF AMERICA
SLUG: 2-313516 CQ Bush / Congress / Haiti (S-O)
DATE:
NOTE NUMBER:

DATE=2/25/04

TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT

TITLE=CQ BUSH / CONGRESS / HAITI (S ONLY)

NUMBER=2-313516

BYLINE=PAULA WOLFSON

DATELINE=WHITE HOUSE

CONTENT=

VOICED AT:

///EDS: CHANGES "CONGRESS" TO "CAUCUS" IN FIRST GRAF. OF TEXT. ALTERNATE TO ROBINSON SHORT CR 2-313515 CONGRESS HAITI.///

INTRO: President Bush has met with African-American members of the U-S Congress to discuss the deteriorating situation in Haiti. V-O-A's Paula Wolfson reports Mr. Bush told them he shares their concerns for the Haitian people.

TEXT: A delegation from the Congressional Black Caucus came to the White House hoping to convince President Bush to take stronger action to ease the crisis.

In a statement issued after the talks, White House spokesman Scott McClellan said the president continues to deplore the violence in Haiti and remains greatly concerned about the loss of life. He said Mr. Bush wants a political solution to the current situation, and is actively working with the international community to help bring peace to that troubled country.

The statement made no mention of calls from France for Haitian President Jean Bertrand Aristide to resign. Instead, it stressed the need for all parties to come together -- the Aristide government and the opposition -- and reach an agreement.

Mr. McClellan also said the Bush administration believes getting more aid into Haiti is a priority, and is working with relief organizations to make sure help gets to those in need. And he noted once again that the president supports the notion of getting some sort of international security force into Haiti once a settlement is reached. (signed)

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