Clinton Heads to Haiti to Mediate Another Political Crisis

WASHINGTON -- After spending her morning doing interviews for several U.S. television networks about the Obama administration's stance on Egypt, Secretary of State Clinton turned her focus to another section of the world facing continued political and economic crisis -- Haiti.

As the Caribbean nation gears up for a new administration, the country is suffering unrest -- as well as sanitation and widespread health challenges -- in the wake of the devastating 2010 earthquake. Haiti has also been marred by what observers say was a tainted election in November.

Haitian President Jean Preval's current term expires on Feb. 7, and three main candidates are vying to replace him.

"I am looking forward to talking with the three leading candidates as well as President Preval and civil society and the press in Haiti, because we've made it very clear we support the OAS recommendations and we would like to see those acted on," Clinton said before departing from Andrews Air Force Base for the trip to Haiti.

The Organization of American States, which reviewed the contested Nov. 28 results, has recommended that presidential candidate and popular musician Michel Martelly be included in a second-round run-off vote in place of Preval-backed candidate Jude Celestin. Former first lady Mirlande Manigat is also on the ballot.

"The international community has been very clear and I'm going to be carrying that message, but I will also be listening. And if there are ideas that we should follow-up on, we will take those into
account," she said.

Besides meeting with Preval and the candidates, Clinton was to conduct interviews with local press and take a tour of a cholera treatment center. Cholera has infected more than 209,000 people in Haiti, according to Haiti's Public Health Ministry, and more than 4,000 have died.

The secretary noted frustrations with the election, but said there is a "deep commitment" to Haiti. While the U.S. will not commit to supporting a transitional government, it also will not halt aid to the region, Clinton said.

She added that improvements have been made in the region since the earthquake but the pace has been inadequate and needs to be accelerated.

Fox News' Kimberly Schwandt contributed to this report.