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Argentina Encourages Haiti to Lead Quake Reconstruction

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Argentine Foreign Minister Jorge Taiana said Tuesday Haiti must be the one leading its reconstruction when assistance from the international community pours in.

Argentina will push for more commitment of the region and of all the international community for Haiti's leadership in its own reconstruction process, Taiana said before an extraordinary summit of the Union of South American Nations (Unasur) in Quito, Ecuador.

The summit was summoned by Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa, who holds the regional block's rotating presidency, to coordinate assistance for reconstruction in the quake-hit small Caribbean island country.

Taiana said the summit would be "very important because the tragedy suffered by Haiti was perhaps the biggest natural disaster we can remember in Latin America."

A 7.3-magnitude earthquake in Haiti on January 12 has killed more than 210,000 people, injured a huge amount of others and left about 2 million people in need of aid.

"We are convinced that the international cooperation must be coordinated with efficiency and must serve the Haitian government and people," the Argentine foreign minister said.

(Xinhua News Agency February 10, 2010)

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