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Haiti Asks for Extension of US Troop Presence - 2004-04-24

Six U.S. lawmakers say Haiti's interim government has asked that American troops remain in the country past the June deadline.

The bipartisan delegation made the announcement Friday in Port-au-Prince after talks with Haiti's interim President Boniface Alexandre and interim Prime Minister Gerard Latortue.

Democratic Congressman Elijah Cummings of Maryland said both Haitian leaders made it clear that they would like to see a U.S. Marine presence beyond the June 1 deadline.

Republican Congressman Mark Foley from Florida, said the United States wants to work with Haitian leaders in the long term to help strengthen the nation.

U.S. troops have been in Haiti since President Jean-Bertrand Aristide left in the Caribbean nation after a violent uprising in February. The troops are part of a 3,600-member international force that is scheduled to be replaced by Brazil-led U.N. peacekeepers in June.