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Sharpton scheduled to go to Haiti

Feb. 26, 2004 at 3:01 PM

NEW YORK, Feb. 26 (UPI) -- U.S. presidential hopeful Al Sharpton said Thursday he has negotiated safe passage for a fact-finding mission to Haiti, currently in the throes of a rebellion.

The candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination and a humanitarian delegation are scheduled to travel to the country next Wednesday. They have meetings set up in Port-Au-Prince that day with embattled President Jean Bertrand Aristide and Paul Denis of the Convergence Group.

The rebel organization National Front for the Freedom of Haiti also has agreed to meet with Sharpton and his delegation in the port city of Cap-Haitien, the statement said. The conflict has killed at least 80 people, and the rebel organization says it is planning an attack on the country's capital.

Sharpton said his group will not take sides in the conflict, "except the side of peace."

His trip is scheduled one day after Super Tuesday, in which 10 states will hold primaries or caucuses to chose the Democratic nominee.

Also Thursday front-running candidate Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts called on President Bush to appoint former candidate Sen. John Graham, D-Fla., as special envoy to Haiti.

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