Bush Backs International Police Force for Haiti

FEBRUARY 26, 2004 - Posted at 7:38 a.m. CDT

WASHINGTON, DC - President Bush says the United States is willing to support an international security force in Haiti, but only after a political settlement is reached.

Bush says the United States remains hopeful a political settlement can be worked out between the Haitan government and opposition parties.

Officials say discussions are underway at the United Nations on the possibility of an international police force being sent to Haiti to enforce a settlement.  France is pressing for creation of such a force immediately.

Diplomatic efforts to obtain a settlement suffered a setback this week when opposition leaders in Haiti rejected a U.S.-backed power sharing plan.

Bush says he has an "effective strategy" in place to deal with any exodus of Haitans toward the U.S.

(Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)