Two French naval vessels to bound for Haiti to join int'l aid: Sarkozy

09:50, January 15, 2010      

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France will send two naval vessels to participate in international aid operation in Haiti after the devastation caused by a powerful quake, President Nicoals Sarkzoy announced here Thursday and called for an international conference for reconstruction in the impoverished Caribbean country.

The two vessels carrying humanitarian resources will start their aid mission from French overseas territory Martinique and east African country Senegal where France's military base locates, Sarkozy said at a meeting with Prime Minister Francois Fillon and some ministers.

Sarkozy added he would pay visit to the quake-hit island in the coming weeks to discuss reconstruction issues with his Haitian counterpart Rene Preval.

"I will propose to (U.S.) President Obama, with whom I will speak in telephone in a few hours, that the United States, Brazil, Canada and some other countries should take the initiative to convene an international conference for the reconstruction and development in Haiti," Sarkozy underlined.

Canada has expressed willingness to attend the conference Sarkozy proposed, according to the statement by the spokesman for Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

Local media said 100 French nationals injured in the catastrophe have been evacuated to Martinique for treatment. However, tens of others were still missing and two were dead, Sarkozy confirmed.

According to the Foreign Ministry, France has dispatched some 300 aid force within 36 hours after the disaster, and another hundred personnel and tons of aid resources, including emergency operation equipments, will reinforce the aid force in another 12 hours.

There were 1,400 French compatriots living in the former France's colony, of whom 1,200 reside in capital Port-au-Prince, where the 7.0-magnitude quake struck on Tuesday.

The accurate casualties of the Tuesday catastrophic quake are unknown yet, however, Haitian President Preval quoted some estimates as ranging from 30,000 to 50,000 fatalities.

Source: Xinhua
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