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Tired Clinton curtails tsunami visit

Former President 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.

Clinton's spokesman Jim Kennedy said the remainder of a four-day trip was expected to continue as planned. Clinton's trip to India, Sri Lanka, the Maldives and Indonesia is to ensure that aid is being distributed properly.

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.

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 off India's southern tip as planned Saturday, but he expects to hold talks with business leaders and government officials today at a resort.

Those meetings, initially scheduled for the morning, have been pushed back to the afternoon to let Clinton rest, said Maldives government spokesman Ahmed Shaheed.

U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan appointed Clinton in February to be the world body's point man for tsunami reconstruction, but a followup operation in March forced him to delay taking the job. Doctors told him his stamina should return.

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