April 5, 2004 — U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell departed St. Thomas Monday morning for Haiti after a weekend stopover with his family and a cadre of State Department personnel.
Powell left St. Thomas at 10:45 a.m. Monday on board a DC-9 aircraft en route to a round of meetings with Gerard Latortue, Haiti's new prime minister. The meetings come several weeks after the departure of ousted President Jean-Bertrand Aristide.
Sources said Monday that Powell had been on-island since Saturday, arriving here on board a Gulfstream jet, which dropped the delegation off before returning to Andrews Air Force Base outside Washington.
Other sources said a bouquet of flowers and a basket of fruit from the V.I. government awaited Powell when he arrived Saturday about 11:30 a.m.
On Sunday, a State Department official confirmed for the Associated Press that Powell was "visiting for a few days." He is thought of as a friend of Retired Army General Samuel Ebbesen, an executive with Innovative Telephone.
The State Department declined to confirm Powell's visit to the island and Government House spokesman James O'Bryan Jr. said Sunday night he was "unaware of Powell's presence in the territory."
Powell is expected to discuss U.S. and international efforts to bring stability to Haiti and provide humanitarian relief.
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