President Obama & President Fernandez Meet on Trade, Drug-Trafficking, and Haiti

This afternoon President Obama held a bilateral meeting with President Leonel Fernandez of the Dominican Republic, touching on a broad range of issues from the political crisis in Honduras, to trade, to continued efforts to crack down on drug trafficking between our two countries.

Both Presidents closed their remarks afterwards with words of appreciation for each others’ friendship, but President Obama opened his remarks on a heart-breaking topic:

One of the first messages I wanted to deliver was my appreciation for the role that the Dominican Republic played in helping the international community respond to the crisis in Haiti after the devastating earthquake there.  And I think that the Dominican Republic’s role, President Fernandez’s role in particular, in helping to facilitate a rapid response was extraordinarily important.  It saved lives and it continues as we look at how we can reconstruct and rebuild in Haiti in a way that is good not only for the people of Haiti but also good for the region as a whole.

As the six-month anniversary of the tragedy approaches, it’s not too late to help again, or for the first time.

President Barack Obama Talks with President Leonel Fernandez of the Dominican Republic Following Their Meeting in the Oval Office

President Barack Obama talks with President Leonel Fernandez of the Dominican Republic following their meeting in the Oval Office July 12, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)