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28105: (news) Chamberlain: Brazil's troops to stay while Haiti needs - Lula (fwd)
From: Greg Chamberlain <GregChamberlain@compuserve.com>
BRASILIA, Brazil, March 13 (Reuters) - Brazil's peacekeeping forces
will stay in Haiti for as long as the new government needs them, President
Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said on Monday.
The troops were in Haiti at the request of the United Nations and the
Haitian government, Lula said
"Brazil will stay as long as the Haitian government sees it
necessary," he said in his fortnightly radio address. "When they say 'we
don't want you any more,' we will leave in the knowledge we have completed
Haitian President-elect Rene Preval said in Brasilia on Friday there
was more optimism and security in Haiti after the Feb. 7 presidential
election, but the country's police and judiciary were still weak and it
would be irresponsible to withdraw U.N. forces.
"(Preval) told me the troops there should only leave when he manages
to set up the police because you can't have a vacuum," Lula said.
Brazil has commanded the 9,000-member U.N. force in Haiti since 2004
after the overthrow of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide and makes up its
largest contingent. Brazil has offered aid in developing the agriculture
and telecommunications industry.
Haitian electoral authorities set the second-round of legislative
elections for April 21. Preval is expected to take office in early May.