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Blinken urged Haitian PM to support government transition proposal, State Dept says

Meeting on security situation in Haiti in New York

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke to Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry on Thursday and urged him to support a political transition proposal for the country, the State Department said on Friday.

Blinken expressed U.S. support for the proposal - developed in partnership with the Caribbean Community and Haitian stakeholders - to expedite a "transition to steer the country toward the deployment of a Multinational Security Support mission and free and fair elections," it said in a statement.

"The Secretary urged Henry to support this proposal in the interest of restoring peace and stability to Haiti so the Haitian people can resume their daily lives free from violence and despair," State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller said in a statement.

Miller also said Washington has been encouraging Henry and other key stakeholders in Haiti for more than a year to reach a compromise that will end the ongoing political stalemate.

Haiti's government on Thursday said it would extend a state of emergency around the capital Port-au-Prince for another month as gang violence that has threatened to bring down the government and led thousands to flee their homes appeared to show no sign of abating.

The U.N. humanitarian affairs agency warned that the country's health system was "nearing collapse," with shortages of staff, equipment, beds, drugs and blood to treat patients with gunshot wounds.

(Reporting by Humeyra Pamuk and Katharine Jackson in Washington; Writing by Ismail Shakil, editing by David Ljunggren and Jonathan Oatis)