Communiqué issued by the Presidency of the Republic - Paris, January 13, 2010

The President of the Republic was shocked and deeply saddened to learn of the powerful earthquake which hit Haiti on Tuesday, January 12;
everything leads us to fear that this earthquake has resulted in
numerous casualties and extensive damage. He expresses his
wholehearted solidarity with the Haitian people, as well as with the
United Nations personnel severely affected by the earthquake.

The urgent requirement is to help the victims, those trapped in the
rubble, the injured and those who are missing. On the instructions of
the President of the Republic, France has decided to immediately
dispatch civil security detachments and a platoon of gendarmes to take
part in the rescue operations to help the local population and to find
and help, if necessary, our compatriots who have been reported missing.

In spite of the communication problems, the French authorities, which
are fully mobilized in Paris, the French West Indies and through our
embassy in Haiti, are working together with the Haitian authorities,
the United Nations and the other countries directly concerned.

Declaration from Mr Bernard KOUCHNER, French Minister of Foreign and European Affairs

Following the earthquake which has hit Haiti, the Minister of Foreign
and European Affairs has set up a crisis center (which can be reached
by calling +33 1 45 50 34 60) to establish a first contact with the
French Embassy in Port-au Prince, gather available information
regarding the French community in Haïti, in order to be able to send
first aid into the country through French civil security services.

"In these dramatic moments, France is expressing its full solidarity
with the Republic of Haïti and send a strong message of sympathy to
the people of Haïti" declared the Minister.

Last modified on 13/01/2010

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