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Clinton in quake-hit Chile to offer support

SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) - U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham
Clinton arrived in earthquake-ravaged Chile on Tuesday to offer the
devastated country moral and material support as it recovers from
the deadly disaster.

Clinton flew into the capital of Santiago, delivering
much-needed satellite communication equipment and a technician.
It's a first installment of what she says will be substantial U.S.
relief assistance.

State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said in Washington on
Monday that Chile has also asked for a field hospital and water
purification systems. Other details of U.S. aid are to be worked
out during Clinton's visit.

U.S. officials said Chile would not have to repay any U.S.
assistance.

Before the weekend quake struck, Clinton had planned a longer
stay in Chile, but she will now only spend a few hours there before
heading to Brazil. Clinton is in the midst of a weeklong,
six-nation tour of Latin America that has taken her already to
Uruguay and Argentina.

Her Santiago visit was expected to be confined to the airport
and its immediate vicinity. At the airport, she was meeting with
outgoing Chilean President Michelle Bachelet and President-elect
Sebastian Pinera.

Santiago is the second major earthquake zone Clinton has visited
in the past two months. Four days after Haiti was hit with a
devastating temblor in January, she was on the ground at the
Port-au-Prince airport, meeting with Haitian officials and
assessing damage with disaster relief experts.

In addition, since she has been secretary of state, Clinton has
also been traveling abroad and present in at least three foreign
countries - Honduras, Japan and Pakistan - when they have been
struck by quakes or strong aftershocks.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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