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SECRETARY BLINKEN:  We deeply appreciate Canada’s leadership in convening what is an incredibly timely and critical discussion on the situation in Haiti which builds on important discussions that we’ve had on Haiti on the margins of the UN General Assembly and at the senior-level international partners meetings that we’ve held since December of last year.

We are deeply concerned about the deteriorating situation on the ground.  We strongly condemn the acts of violence, the looting, the destruction of the past weeks, including the gangs’ continuing fuel blockade, which has had a devastating impact across Haiti, undermining the health, undermining the safety, of thousands of people.

We’ll continue to promote accountability for those responsible for fomenting the violence, particularly economic and political actors instigating these events for their own interests.

Meanwhile, we commend the efforts of the Haitian National Police, who have been working tirelessly to try to keep the peace.  But they need our help.  They need our continuing support.

Over the past 18 months, the United States has allocated more than $90 million in security assistance to strengthen the Haitian Police’s capacity to counter the gangs, and we are coordinating closely with our partners to discuss what more we can do.

We remain committed to working with the international community and the Haitian people as they seek to restore security and democratic order for a more prosperous future, support for the political track which is so critical, as well as the necessary economic and humanitarian support.

So this is an important discussion today.  We look forward to pursuing it.  But I think you’ve heard from both the foreign minister from Canada and from our Haitian colleague that the magnitude of this challenge is real, and of course, it has been compounded now by the outbreak of cholera that we want to make sure we help our friends get a grip on.

Let me leave it at that for now.  Thank you.

U.S. Department of State

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