Clinton cancels Asia visit over Haiti quake

Clinton cancels Asia visit over Haiti quake

Clinton cancels Asia visit over Haiti quake

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton discusses the earthquake in Haiti during a news conference in Hawaii on Wednesday. AP

Clinton had been due to travel to New Zealand after visiting Papua New Guinea, before heading to Australia on Sunday. She said in Hawaii, "I have decided to cancel the remainder of (my trip) and return to Washington."

Clinton left Washington on Monday for Hawaii where she met her Japanese counterpart Katsuya Okada.

She also gave a major foreign policy speech on Asia Pacific Region at the East West Centre in Honolulu. "Secretary Clinton just announced that she will be returning immediately to Washington due to the devastating earthquake in Haiti and its severe aftermath," the State Department said in a late night statement.

Earlier, Clinton told reporters in Honolulu that she talked to top officials of the Obama administration and other world leaders, including French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner, Foreign Minister Celso Amorim of Brazil, President Leonel Antonio Fernandez of the Dominican Republic and Foreign Minister Lawrence Cannon of Canada.

"It is biblical, the tragedy that continues to stalk Haiti and the Haitian people," she said.