the WHITE HOUSEPresident Barack Obama

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The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release

Readout of the President's Calls with World Leaders on Haiti

Over the course of today, President Obama spoke with UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon, President Lula of Brazil, Prime Minister Harper of Canada, President Calderon of Mexico, President Bachelet of Chile, and the U.S. Ambassador to Haiti, Ken Merten, about the on-going efforts to assist Haiti in the wake of yesterday’s earthquake. 

The President expressed his deepest sympathies to Secretary General Ban and President Lula for the losses suffered by the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH).  Efforts to contact President Preval of Haiti have not proven successful, but Ambassador Merten relayed to the President a conversation he had with President Preval earlier in the day, in which the Ambassador conveyed the deep condolences and unwavering support of the American people.

In each of his conversations, the President underscored the United States’ commitment to act as rapidly as possible to support the rescue and recovery effort in Haiti. As a part of that effort, he underscored our commitment to participate in and support the immediate search and rescue efforts that are underway involving personnel from each of the countries, and many others represented within MINUSTAH.  The President also made clear America’s commitment to the people of Haiti, both in the difficult days ahead, and over the long-term.  

Presidents Lula, Calderon, and Bachelet and Prime Minister Harper described the significant contributions each of their countries is making to the search and rescue mission and to long-term international efforts to support Haiti’s recovery.  The President and Secretary General Ban discussed the important role the United Nations has played and will continue to play in Haiti. The leaders affirmed their commitment to work closely together in this international effort.

Finally, the President commended Ambassador Merten for his leadership during this crisis and the valiant efforts of the staff of the United States Embassy in Port au Prince.  They also discussed efforts underway to locate and confirm the status of U.S. citizens in Haiti and to ensure their safety and well-being.