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Weather or not? Clinton cancels tsunami recovery tour

Sunday, May 29, 2005

MALE, Maldives -- Former president Bill Clinton canceled a planned tour Saturday of tsunami-hit areas of the Maldives. One U.N. official said the former U.S. leader was exhausted, while another said the cancellation was due to the weather.

Cherie Hart, the regional communications officer for the U.N. Development Program and the coordinator of Clinton's visit, said the former president, who underwent a heart bypass operation in September, was not sick.

"He's plain pooped and he wants to slow the schedule down," Hart said.

But Brenden Varma, a U.N. spokesman in New York, said Clinton canceled the trip because of weather: "He is not exhausted. He is doing fine and he is going to continue with his busy schedule of meetings."

Erskine Bowles, Clinton's deputy, reiterated that the president was fine. "He has worn me out, though," Bowles told CNN. "There's no letup in this guy."

Clinton, who was recently named special U.N. envoy for tsunami recovery, did not meet tsunami survivors in the tropical archipelago off India's southern tip as he had planned to do on Saturday, but he still expects to hold talks with business leaders and government officials today.

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