Clinton: Couldn't Sleep Til Aristide Signed Haitian Agreement Retransmitting to fix category
Jul. 04, 1993
Clinton: Couldn't Sleep Til Aristide Signed Haitian Agreement Retransmitting to fix category code. Clinton With AM-Haiti Bjt
PHILADELPHIA, Pa. (AP) _ President Clinton said he couldn't sleep Saturday night until he'd heard that exiled Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide had signed an agreement that would return him to power.
Clinton on Sunday applauded U.N. and U.S. negotiators who hammered out the accord in separate meetings with Aristide and Lt. Gen. Raoul Cedras, who helped overthrow him nearly two years ago.
Clinton said he expects Aristide to be back in power without bloodshed on Oct. 30 as agreed.
''We're very encouraged today,'' Clinton told reporters. ''We're very committed to implementing that agreement.''
Speaking to people crowded around him at the historic Liberty Bell, Clinton said, ''Actually, I could not go to sleep last night until I found out President Aristide had signed it.''
Clinton credited U.S. diplomats, United Nations special envoy Dante Caputo and Organization of American States officials for the agreement. ''They all did a terrific job,'' he said.
The president also commended Cedras for signing the pact. Cedras has been Haiti's nominal leader since elected leader Aristide's overthrow in September 1991.
Asked if the accord could be put in place without violence, Clinton said: ''I certainly think it can be. The 10-point program will work.''
Cedras agreed to discuss Aristide's reinstatement after the United Nations late last month imposed a punishing oil embargo on the Caribbean nation to pressure for Aristide's return.
The accord starts a phased process in which foreign aid would be channeled to the hemisphere's poorest nation, the embargo lifted, the military command changed and democracy brought back.
Secretary of State Warren Christopher, meanwhile, said Sunday the fact that it took some time in the final hours to get Aristide's signature ''is only an indication of the seriousness of the endeavor.''
He said the commitment of U.S. monitors for the process would likely be under 1,000.
''I think it's important that they be there, but it's quite desirable that they be French speakers, so I suspect that they'll come mainly from other countries,'' Christopher said on NBC-TV's ''Meet the Press.''