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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release July 5, 1994


President Clinton spoke separately by phone today with President Guillermo Endara of Panama, Prime Minister Eugenia Charles of Dominica and Prime Minister Lester Bird of Antigua and Barbuda to thank them for their willingness to host safe havens for Haitian refugees in each of their countries.

During the conversations, the President told each of the three leaders that by providing safety for those Haitians in need of protection, their governments would play a critical role in addressing the humanitarian implications of the crisis in Haiti.

In coordination with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, there are now six governments in the region which have agreed to provide various forms of assistance to Haitian asylum-seekers. They include the United States, Jamaica, the Turks and Caicos, Panama, Dominica and Antigua and Barbuda.

The President today also invited Ernesto Perez Balladares, the President-elect of Panama, to meet with him on July 20 in Washington. President-elect Perez Balladares has accepted the President's invitation. This meeting will give President Clinton and President Balladares an opportunity to review U.S.-Panamanian cooperation across the range of areas of mutual interest including providing safe haven to Haitians in need of protection and restoring democracy to Haiti.

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