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Lugar statement on Haiti earthquake

U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee Ranking Member Dick Lugar released the following statement on the devastating earthquake in Haiti:

“My thoughts and prayers are with the people of Haiti and the many Haitian-Americans in this country who are directly affected by the devastating tragedy. I and several of my U.S. Senate colleagues signed a letter today drafted by Senator Dodd, in which we conveyed to Secretary of State Clinton our full support of the administration’s efforts, on behalf of the American people, to provide emergency relief and support for the longer term recovery effort of our island neighbors.”

In the letter, the senators pledged to work with Secretary Clinton, the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to speed recovery efforts in Haiti following yesterday’s earthquake.

The letter, which can be found in full below, was also signed by Senators Kerry, (D-MA), Leahy (D-VT), Bingaman (D-NM), Harkin (D-IA), Durbin (D-IL), Menendez (D-NJ), Corker (R-TN), and Barrasso (R-WY).

Dear Secretary Clinton,

We write to express our deep concern over the tragic loss of life and devastating destruction in the aftermath of Tuesday’s earthquake in Haiti, and to express our support for your efforts to respond quickly and aggressively to this crisis. Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Haiti and the thousands of Americans who have friends and family affected by this disaster.

We appreciate the strong public statement made today by the President as well as the efforts that you and the State Department have already taken. An aggressive and coordinated international effort—with active leadership from the United States—is essential in order to save lives and prevent further devastation.

This tragedy presents enormous challenges, not only to the people of Haiti, but also to the international community’s efforts and ability to respond. We want to assure you that we stand ready to assist you, Administrator Shah, and the administration in both the immediate response to the crisis and to the longer term plan for recovery.

Please do not hesitate to contact us or our staff if we can be of any assistance.