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Bush holds out for political settlement

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Bush holds out hope for political settlement in Haiti

White House-AP -- Despite weeks of bloody fighting, President Bush says he still holds out hope for a political settlement in Haiti.

But in the meantime, he's warning Haitians not to try to flee to America.

During a meeting with the republic of Georgia's visiting president, Bush told reporters he's instructed the Coast Guard to "turn back any refugee" attempting to reach U-S shores.

He's promising a "robust presence" in the Caribbean -- and "an effective strategy."

Rebels in Haiti are trying to topple President Jean-Bertrand Aristide (zhahn behr-TRAHN' ahr-ihs-TEED'). Militants loyal to Aristide have set up dozens of flaming barricades in the capital city, Port-au-Prince.

The president says Secretary of State Colin Powell has been working with other countries to persuade the parties to come to the negotiating table.

Copyright 2004 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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