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U.S. CHURCH GROUP SEEKS TO AID CUBAN BOY'S RETURN

A leading U.S. church organization said Friday that it was to have been an intermediary in an agreement to return to Cuba a 6-year-old Cuban boy at the center of an international custody dispute.

A spokeswoman for the National Council of Churches said the deal to return the boy, Elian Gonzalez, fell apart for unexplained reasons in mid-December.

But the council will send two representatives to Cuba on Sunday to meet with Elian's father and grandparents and with U.S. and Cuban government officials in hopes of securing the boy's return, council spokeswoman Carol Fouke said.

"Our concern is humanitarian, not political," said Joan Brown Campbell, who was the council's executive director for nine years and will make the trip with the Rev. Oscar Bolioli.

Elian was rescued Nov. 25 off the coast of Florida.

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