Statement by Herman Van Rompuy, President of the European Council on Haiti

News and Press Release
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Brussels, 18 January 2010
PCE 11/10

"We Europeans have been deeply moved by the plight of Haiti and its people. As I said in Berlin, my heart is with the families of the numerous victims of this catastrophe. I remain hopeful that the injured will recover soon and that the rescue teams will continue do wonders and free people trapped under the rubble.

The European Union is committed to Haiti, a country with which Europeans have many links.

After the disaster, the EU and its Member States responded quickly, in coordination with international partners, in order to alleviate suffering and restore minimum conditions for the population. Aid came from all over the EU: doctors, fire-fighters, water purification units, tents, blankets and other vital supplies.

Today, EU High Representative Catherine Ashton has convened an extraordinary meeting of the Foreign Affairs Council to discuss prospects for further coordinated action by the EU in response to relief and reconstruction needs in the country.

In consultation with José Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, Prime Minister of Spain, and in close cooperation with EU High Representative Catherine Ashton, I have decided to take up the situation in Haiti at the highest political level and to bring it up at the forthcoming informal meeting of heads of state or government, on 11 February in Brussels. Reconstruction efforts and EU support for the proposed international conference for Haiti will be part of our discussion."