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Portugal, Brazil Consider Sending Police or Troops to Haiti on Relief Mission

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Portugal and Brazil on Monday were separately considering sending police officers or military forces to quake-hit Haiti to help with relief efforts there.

The Portuguese government will discuss at its upcoming session of the Council of Ministers whether it would participate in a planned European military police operation in Haiti, said Foreign Minister Luis Amado.

Amado said that in coming days Portugal would review the circumstances and means they had to participate in that mission.

The foreign ministers of the 27 member countries of the European Union decided on Monday to send a military police mission to Haiti in order to help with the distribution of relief supplies.

This mission will be formed by 300 police officers from France, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands and Romania.

The Portuguese civil protection authorities said in a statement that a second Hercules C-130 plane of the Portuguese Air Force with specialists and aid supplies aboard arrived in Port-au-Prince on Monday to reinforce relief efforts in Haiti.

According to the statement, the plane was carrying a fireman doctor, four firemen specialists, as well as a technician on water purification systems.

The plane also transported 15 tons of medical equipment, 180,000 water purifying tablets and six tons of bottled water.

In Brazil, the Congress is expected on Monday to approve sending another 1,300 soldiers to Haiti to join the existing 1,300-strong Brazilian force in the quake-ravaged country.

Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva on Monday sent General Jorge Felix, chief minister of the Brazilian Cabinet of Institutional Security, to Haiti to assess the situation on the ground.

Felix will leave for Haiti early Tuesday morning and stay in the Caribbean country for at least 12 hours.

(Xinhua News Agency January 26, 2010)

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