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Official ensures U.N. commitment to Haiti

  |   Jan. 28, 2009 at 5:58 PM
PORT AU PRINCE, Haiti, Jan. 28 (UPI) -- A top U.N. official has promised continued support to ensure the future security and stability of Haiti.

Alain Le Roy, undersecretary-general for peacekeeping operations, has met with Haitian government leaders including President Rene Preval and Prime Minister Michele Duvivier Pierre-Louis as part of a five-day official visit to the volatile and poverty-stricken Caribbean nation, the United Nations reported.

The United Nations, which recently extended a peacekeeping operation mandate for Haiti, has been working to help local authorities target the ongoing trafficking and smuggling of illicit goods by transnational criminal organizations. The criminal groups have been able to operate largely unhindered because of a struggling Haitian government and widespread poverty.

Le Roy said Tuesday the United Nations would continue its support for stability in Haiti.

"We are here to help the Haitian government," Le Roy said in a statement. "We are going to sustain and increase our assistance so that the Haitian authorities are able to ensure their own customs and security system."

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