Obama pledges full support to Haitian president

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WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama promised Haitian President Rene Preval long-term help rebuilding his country in a phone call Friday morning, their first conversation since Tuesday’s earthquake.

During the 30-minute call, Obama told Preval that the world has been devastated by the loss and suffering in Haiti, and pledged full U.S. support for both the immediate recovery effort and the long-term reconstruction. Preval said that the needs in his country are great, but aid is now making its way to the Haitian people.

Preval ended the call with a message to the American people, saying “from the bottom of my heart and on behalf of the Haitian people, thank you, thank you, thank you.”

The White House has said Obama tried to contact Preval several times this week, but wasn’t able to do so because of communication disruptions following the quake.