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Powell to Visit Haiti Monday - 2004-04-02

U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell plans to visit Haiti Monday - the first visit to the island nation by a top U.S. official since President Jean-Bertrand Aristide was driven from power in February.

A State Department spokesman announced the trip Friday, during Mr. Powel's visit to Brussels for a NATO meeting.

Mr. Aristide, who is now living in Jamaica, has repeatedly claimed that the United States and France forced him from power. He also has filed a law suit against the French government over the matter. Both nations deny the charge.

Mr. Aristide was flown out of Haiti to Africa on February 29, following a three-week insurgency by armed rebels who steadily advanced across the impoverished country.