Carter 'is last chance for Haiti'

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The Independent Online
AS FORMER President Jimmy Carter flew into the Haitian capital, Port-au-Prince, in a last attempt to persuade the leaders of the illegal junta to step down, plans for an invasion by US forces moved forward.

Mr Carter, accompanied by former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Colin Powell, and Senator Sam Nunn, immediately held a three-hour meeting with Generals Raoul Cedras and Philippe Biamby at Haitian military headquarters. After the meeting the American delegation left without comment for their hotel. It was not clear whether talks would continue today.

President Clinton said that Mr Carter was making 'one last best effort' to ensure a peaceful handover of power. Later, however, he travelled for briefings in the Pentagon leaving no doubt that invasion plans were not suspended.

As he stepped on Haitian soil, Mr Carter said he would report back on the outcome of his talks only to Mr Clinton. 'We have to work with Haitian officials to devise a peaceful implementation of the policies of the US government and the resolutions passed by the UN Security Council,' he said.

The conciliatory language suggested an overall deal may already have been reached.

Clinton's gamble, page 11

Leading article, page 18