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Haitian President-Elect Meets Clinton During US Visit


Haiti's President-elect Michel Martelly answers reporters' questions at Karibe Hotel in Port-au-Prince, April 8, 2011

Haiti's President-elect Michel Martelly answers reporters' questions at Karibe Hotel in Port-au-Prince, April 8, 2011

Haiti's President-elect Michel Martelly is meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton Wednesday in Washington, less than a month before he is set to take office.

State Department spokesman Mark Toner said the talks will reaffirm "the United States’ continued commitment to Haiti’s reconstruction and economic development."

Martelly's three-day U.S. visit is aimed at promoting his agenda of job creation, education, security, reconstruction and health.

The popular singer-turned-politician met Tuesday with the heads of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. He meets at the Embassy of Haiti Wednesday with members of the Haitian community and holds a press conference on Thursday.

Martelly faces the difficult task of rebuilding the Western Hemisphere's poorest country after a devastating earthquake in January 2010 that killed more than 200,000 people and displaced more than a million. Haiti is also suffering from a cholera epidemic that has killed thousands since it began in October.

Haiti's electoral council has declared Martelly the winner of the country's March 20 presidential runoff, but there have been repeated delays in announcing the official results, which are now expected on Wednesday.

Martelly is to take over from President Rene Preval on May 14.

The president-elect says his goals for Haiti include free tuition for all children nationwide, housing for earthquake victims living in tent camps, and strengthening agricultural so Haiti can become more self-sufficient.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP.

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