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US Ends Restrictions on Aid to Madagascar

FILE - Hery Rajaonarimampianina (L) acknowledges the crowd with his wife Lalao (R) at anelection campaign rally in Antananarivo, Madagascar, in October 2013.
The United States has lifted all remaining restrictions on direct assistance to Madagascar.

The U.S. State Department says the move was made in light of the country's successful 2013 elections and installation of a new government earlier this year.

The elections ended four years of political turmoil that followed a 2009 coup. The African Union refused to recognize the new leader Andry Rajoelina, and the United States and other donors cut aid to the island nation, hurting its economy.

State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Tuesday that the U.S. has invited the new president, Hery Rajaonarimampianina, to the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit in Washington this August.

Psaki said the U.S. provided $55 million to Madagascar in fiscal 2013 for food security and health programs.