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Clinton to Affirm US Support for Liberian President

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is in Liberia to show support for President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Africa's only female head of state.

Clinton arrived in a pouring rain Thursday but was greeted by hundreds of Liberians who waved flags and held banners saluting the top U.S. diplomat.

Clinton immediately went into talks with Mrs. Sirleaf. Later, she will address Liberia's national assembly.

President Sirleaf has received strong U.S. support since being elected in 2005. But Liberia's Truth and Reconcilation has recommended that she be banned from political activity because of her alleged involvement in the country's civil wars.

Mrs. Sirleaf has admitted that she once gave money to former President Charles Taylor, who is now on trial in The Hague for alleged war crimes.

But she has denied that she was ever a member of his movement.

Mr. Taylor ignited Liberia's first civil war with his rebellion against President Samuel Doe in 1989. The war crimes accusations against him stem from his later support of rebels in Sierra Leone during that country's civil war.

This is the sixth of seven stops on Clinton's 11-day tour of Africa. She will spend less than 24 hours in Liberia before heading to the island of Cape Verde and then returning to Washington.

On Wednesday, Clinton was in Nigeria, where she urged President Umaru Yar'Adua to fight corruption and implement broad political reforms.

Earlier stops on Clinton's trip were Kenya, South Africa, Angola and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.