Clinton to meet with Uruguay's incoming president

Clinton to meet with Uruguay's incoming president

Published March 1, 2010

MONTEVIDEO, Uruguay – Troops from Uruguay are regularly among U.N. peacekeeping forces deployed around the world, and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is hoping to persuade that country's new president to continue the support.

Jose Mujica, a former guerrilla leader, is the latest leftist president to be elected to a Latin American country.

Clinton flew to Montevideo, Uruguay, on Monday, beginning a tour of the region. She will meet with Mujica just hours before he's sworn in.

Clinton's five-nation weeklong trip is sure to focus on the earthquake in Chile, even as she tries to build support for fresh penalties against Iran.

Clinton will briefly visit Santiago, Chile's capital, Tuesday morning.

"We want to show America's support for the people of Chile while mindful of the realities on the ground," Clinton aide Philippe Reines said Sunday.

The State Department has issued a travel alert advising Americans to avoid nonessential travel to Chile.

U.S. officials said Clinton will meet with Mujica but has no plans for separate meetings with other inauguration guests, such as Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez, Ecuador's Rafael Correa or Bolivia's Evo Morales. Later Monday she will meet with Argentine President Christina Fernandez in Buenos Aires.

After her brief stop in Santiago, Clinton heads to Brasilia, Brazil, for talks with President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, whose support the U.S. is seeking for a new round of U.N. Security Council penalties against Iran over its nuclear program.

In Costa Rica on Thursday, Clinton will attend a meeting of regional foreign ministers that will focus on improving economic conditions in the hemisphere. She expects to see outgoing President Oscar Arias, who brokered an accord that ended the political crisis in Honduras last year.

Clinton will also meet with incoming Costa Rican President Laura Chinchilla before wrapping up her tour in Guatemala on Friday.

In Guatemala, Clinton will meet a group of Central American leaders, including Honduran President Porfirio Lobo, who took over in late January from an interim government that had ousted leader Manuel Zelaya in a coup last June.


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Written by MATTHEW LEE, Associated Press Writer


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