Clinton to visit Haiti, Dominican Republic

Mon Apr 13, 2009 1:04pm EDT

WASHINGTON, April 13 (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visits Haiti on Thursday to talk about how to promote stability in the Western hemisphere's poorest nation despite its long history of violence and political unrest.

Riots sparked by skyrocketing food prices led to the ouster of Haiti's government last year, a period during which the Caribbean nation lost some 800 lives and suffered an estimated $1 billion in damage when four hurricanes roared through.

Clinton will visit two days after donor nations gather in Washington on Tuesday for a pledging conference to aid Haiti and just ahead of this weekend's Summit of the Americas in Trinidad and Tobago.

The State Department said Clinton, who arrives in Haiti on Thursday morning, would meet President Rene Preval to discuss "stability, security and assistance."

She then visits the Dominican Republic, which shares the island of Hispaniola with Haiti, where she will meet President Leonel Fernandez before flying to Trinidad and Tobago to join U.S. President Barack Obama at the regional summit.

(Editing by Sandra Maler)