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Brazil Requests US to Give Priority on Plane Landing at Haitian Airport

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Brazilian Foreign Relations Minister Celso Amorim said on Friday that he called US State Secretary Hillary Clinton in order to request that the Brazilian planes carrying supplies are given priority in landing at the airport of Port-au-Prince, capital of Haiti.

According to Minister Amorim, some of the Brazilian planes were having difficulties to land at the local airport, whose air traffic control is in charge by the United States since a 7.0-magnitude earthquake devastated Haiti on Tuesday.

The minister qualified the incident as a mere misunderstanding. According to him, it is normal to have difficulties in landing because there are flights from many countries arriving with donations.

"That can be seen as natural because there are many flights from several countries wanting to land," he said, adding that it is important to have it clear that Brazil is being given the "adequate priority."

Amorim added that Secretary Clinton assured him that she would take the necessary steps in order to make sure the Brazilian planes are given priority.

Brazil heads the United Nations peacekeeping mission in Haiti (Minustah), and has about 1,200 military personnel in the country. In the past three days, Brazil has sent six planes loaded with food and water, medicine, medical equipment and several teams of health professionals and rescue workers to Haiti.

Additionally, the country has sent two field hospitals to be set up in Port-au-Prince.

(Xinhua News Agency January 16, 2009)


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