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Haiti's Cabinet Forced to Hold Open-air Meeting

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Seated on a bench and plastic chairs, Haiti's cabinet officials held a makeshift open-air meeting on Sunday to discuss ways to respond to the catastrophic earthquake that rocked the island nation.

Since the government buildings were severely damaged in the quake, the cabinet officials had to hold this meeting in an unusual setting: outside a police station.

Led by Haitian Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive, the meeting was also attended by foreign ambassadors, the heads of the United Nations and other international agencies.

The meeting will last two days, officials said.

"They say the government is not fast, but we are doing our best," Information Minister Marie Laurence Jocelyn Lassegue said.

The government's priority was to coordinate the large amount of aid arriving from abroad, she explained.

(Xinhua News Agency January 18, 2010)

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