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Annan calls Manning on Haiti

Sunday, February 29 2004

Prime Minister Patrick Manning revealed that he had recently been contacted over the crisis in Haiti by United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan. Manning was addressing reporters yesterday at an impromptu news conference at the Cascadia Hotel, held in lieu of the promised formal media coverage of his address to an Orientation Programme for PNM councillors. In reply to reportersí questions about the situation in Haiti, Manning disclosed that on Friday afternoon he had received a call from Annan.

But Manning refused to divulge details of their talks, citing reasons of national security. When he was asked how Trinidad and Tobago might respond to any Haitian refugees reaching our shores, Manning said such a scenario was unlikely to arise, given the large geographical distance between the two countries. Manning and Annan had met in person on January 2 when the UN head had vacationed in Trinidad and Tobago.  On Friday, Manning told a news conference that the Trinidad and Tobago Defence Force was on alert to go to Haiti as part of a multinational peacekeeping force, but that a Caricom resolution for such an intervention had been rejected by the United Nations Security Council on Wednesday.

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