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From The AFP

PRESIDENT Nicholas Sarkozy has announced in a landmark visit that France will cancel Haiti’s $US56 million debt ($A62 million) as it pledged hundreds of millions in aid.

The debt relief and aid are aimed at helping the former French colony recover from the earthquake that killed more than 200,000 people.

Signalling a fresh chapter in diplomacy between Haiti and France, Mr Sarkozy’s four-hour trip was the first time a French leader had set foot in Haiti since the Caribbean nation expelled the French in a slave revolt and secured its independence more than 200 years ago.

”France will live up to the responsibilities of its shared history and friendship with Haiti,” Mr Sarkozy said after meeting Haitian President Rene Preval.

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