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ARISTIDE SAYS RESIGNATIONS KEY TO RESTORING DEMOCRACY IN HAITI

SHARE ARISTIDE SAYS RESIGNATIONS KEY TO RESTORING DEMOCRACY IN HAITI

Exiled Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide insists that the military leaders who ousted him more than a year ago must relinquish all power if democracy is to be restored in his country.

Dante Caputo, the chief U.N. negotiator in talks on restoring democracy to Haiti, said Wednesday that Aristide and military ruler Lt.-Gen. Raoul Cedras have reached agreement on some fundamental issues. But sources close to Aristide had a less optimistic assessment of the negotiations that began Sunday.The sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Aristide had presented a three-point initiative to Caputo late Wednesday that included the demand for the resignation of Cedras and the rest of the military high command, as well as powerful Port-au-Prince Police Chief Joseph Michel Francois.

The proposal also called for Aristide's return to power within six weeks - Cedras has proposed six to nine months - and for the deployment of international peacekeepers in Haiti.

Aristide's repeated calls for their resignations have been rejected by Haiti's military leaders. The sources said he considered the demand key to the restoration of democracy.

They added that Cedras had shown little flexibility during the talks, but that Aristide was prepared to continue negotiations indefinitely.