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US Urges Calm in Haiti After Failed Coup Attempt

The State Department is appealing for calm in Haiti in the wake of Monday's failed coup attempt, saying the United States stands with the Caribbean country's elected leadership.

The Bush administration has been critical of various aspects of the Haitian government's performance, including its human rights record, but State Department spokesman Richard Boucher made clear the United States supports the elected government of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide in the face of Monday's overthrow attempt.

"We've looked at the leadership in Haiti as being a legitimate elected leadership, [and] recognize the results of the last election," he said, "and, obviously, we stand with people who are elected, against those who would seek to overthrow them by force."

Mr. Boucher urged Haitians to remain calm, and called on the government to take "appropriate measures" to restore normalcy. The spokesman said the US embassy in the capital Port-Au-Prince was closed Monday, and that US citizens were being urged to stay at home and monitor broadcast reports on the security situation.