WASHINGTON (AP) _ The State Department told the Haitian military Thursday not to interfere with a tanker of fuel that will be used in food and medicine deliveries to the needy.

The military has a duty not to interfere with the relief effort, which includes establishing a storage area to house the fuel, said State Department spokesman Mike McCurry.

With fuel supplies running low in Haiti, humanitarian groups have had difficulty carrying out their mission, causing deprivation among many Haitians. The tanker is expected to arrive between Jan. 12 and Jan. 15.

Ambassador Lawrence Pezzullo, the special U.S. adviser on Haiti, told Haitian journalists via satellite hookup Wednesday he believes the military is ''not so callous'' as to consider disruption of the effort.

It's believed to be the first to Haiti since an international oil embargo was reimposed this past fall. A waiver has been granted to permit the delivery to be legal.

Meanwhile, U.S. officials and representatives of exiled President Jean- Bertrand Aristide are narrowing their differences over the agenda for conference of Haitian democratic groups set for Jan. 15 in Miami.

Representatives of the Haitian military are not being invited but U.S. officials are hopeful that the conference will lead to a process that will include negotiations with the Haitian military on a surrender of power.

''The Haiti crisis is political, the Haitians themselves need to concentrate on developing a political settlement to the crisis, and they are the only ones who can take at this point the necessary action to do so,'' McCurry said.

He added that consultations with the military do not imply power sharing with the military.

''That's never been an aspect that we put in our diplomacy. We have said over and over and made it clear that the military must get out of politics altogether,'' he said.