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Haiti president-elect to visit US

19 april 2011, 12:13
Michel Martelly. Photo courtesy of bajansunonline.com
Michel Martelly. Photo courtesy of bajansunonline.com
Haiti's Michel Martelly will visit the United States on Tuesday following his victory in a presidential run-off as he seeks to rebuild the earthquake-shattered country, AFP reports citing his office.

Martelly, who will assume office on May 14 following his victory in last month's vote, will meet with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the heads of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, it said.

The talks will focus on "job creation, education, security, reconstruction and health," it said in a statement.

The trip will allow Martelly to "reiterate his message that the government will focus its efforts and energy on reconstruction, boosting the economy and insuring that Haitian children have access to basic education."

The 50-year-old former carnival singer, popularly known as "Sweet Micky," roundly defeated former first lady Mirlande Manigat in a March 20 run-off after a months-long electoral process marked by violence and allegations of fraud.

He now faces the daunting task of rebuilding the Western Hemisphere's poorest country following a January 2010 earthquake that killed some 220,000 people and flattened much of the capital.

Little reconstruction took place under the current president Rene Preval, and a cholera outbreak has killed almost 5,000 people since October as it has spread through the country's sprawling tent camps.

The international community has pledged billions of dollars to speed Haiti's recovery, but most of it has been held up as donors await the orderly transfer of political power.

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