Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva has suggested today, January 18, to the President of the United States, Barack Obama, the creation of a sort of ministers committee involving both countries to coordinate humanitarian aid in Haiti, devastated by an earthquake on January 12.
Lula’s idea is that you need to coordinate reconstruction actions in the Caribbean country so that the UN Mission for Stabilization in Haiti (MINUSTAH) will not end up overloaded nor will be prevented from continuing other UN’s tasks in the country.
Lula told Obama he is concerned with the accumulation of functions by MINUSTAH, which is led by Brazil, Lula was quoted as saying his US counterpart that the MINUSTAH “cannot take care of everything” and also that what occurred in Haiti was a disgrace.
The two presidents spoke late afternoon, after Obama called Lula. During the conversation, which lasted about 15 minutes, Obama said that Brazil is the US’s leading partner in helping Haiti and that both countries need to stay together in helping the Caribbean country since the two nations have the largest military forces in the region.
In addition, the US president said that Brazil has the advantage of knowing the geography, people and Haitian customs.
According to the presidency’s interlocutors, Lula told Obama that the distribution of water and food to those in need should be done by Haitian authorities themselves. However, Lula argued that it is necessary to assess whether they will be able to accomplish this task.
Obama suggested that the United States, Brazil and Canada lead the community of donor countries. The American president also said that in the next 25 days there will be a meeting in Canada between foreign ministers of several countries to address the issue.
Obama also spoke about the suggestion of French President Nicolas Sarkozy to hold a meeting in Martinique, a French colony, located in the Caribbean.
Lula said he would like to attend any meeting on the matter and he would change his agenda and would do whatever it takes to participate in these gatherings.