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Monday, March 8, 1999 Published at 11:36 GMT

World: Americas

Clinton Central American tour begins Monday

President Clinton is due to arrive in Nicaragua later today at the start of a four-day tour of the Central American countries hardest hit by Hurricane Mitch.

He's expected to visit the scene of the worst single disaster during the hurricane, the mudslide in Nicaragua which killed more than two-thousand people, and to highlight American efforts to help the region recover.

The United States has already spent more than three hundred million dollars on relief, and Mr Clinton has asked Congress to release almost a billion dollars more.

After visiting Nicaragua Mr Clinton will go to Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala, where the tour ends on Thursday with a summit of regional leaders in the town of Antigua. Meanwhile, a White House spokesman has said the stay on the deportation of illegal immigrants from Guatemala and El Salvador, due to end today, will not be extended.

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