|The Courier N° 159 - Sept - Oct 1996 - Dossier: Investing in People - Country Reports: Mali ; Western Samoa (EC Courier, 1996, 96 p.)|
The President of Haiti
The President of the Republic of Haiti, Rene Preval, visited the Commission on 11 June. He met with President Jacques Santer, Commissioner Joao de Deus Pinheiro (responsible for relations with the ACP States) and Commissioner Emma Bonino (responsible for humanitarian aid).
President Preval thanked the European Union for all the support it had provided both for the restoration of democracy in Haiti and for the country's economic development. He spoke in particular of the discussions that are currently under way with the Bretton Woods institutions aimed at restoring Haiti's economy. The President indicated that an economic recovery programme would need balance of payments support to the tune of $119m during 1996, as well as assistance for a range of economic sectors amounting to a billion dollars over a three-year period.
For his part, Professor Pinheiro expressed satisfaction at being able to welcome the President at a time when the democratic process in Haiti was functioning normally and institutional consolidation was taking place. In a statement to the press, he said it was an appropriate moment 'to evaluate our cooperation and to strengthen it in a way that will contribute to economic and social development' in Haiti. He added that it was essential for the Haitian people to recognise that democracy was worthwhile. Professor Pinheiro also welcomed the normalisation of relations between Haiti and its neighbour, the Dominican Republic.
The President of the Dominican Republic
The newly-elected President of the Dominican Republic, Leonel Fernandez Reyna, had a working session at the Commission on 15 and 16 July.
This trip to Brussels was the President's first overseas visit in his new capacity, following his election on 30 June. Indeed, he had not yet formally assumed office at the time of his visit. His inauguration was due to take place on 16 August and the President-elect extended an invitation to the Commission to attend the ceremony. Mr Fernandez Reyna's subsequent itinerary included visits to Spain, France and the United States.