President Barack Obama on Friday said that he will meet with former Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton in the White House Saturday to discuss the Haitian relief effort.
Obama tabbed both ex-presidents this week to assist with the long-term relief and rebuilding efforts in Haiti. The White House said Thursday that they would get involved in the "coming days."
Former Presidents Clinton and George H.W. Bush assisted with the Asian tsunami relief effort in 2004, an arrangement Obama is looking to replicate.
During remarks at the White House today, Obama also detailed his call with Haitian President René Préval and ensured that relief supplies are on the way to the devastated country.
"President Préval and I agree that is it absolutely essential that these efforts are well coordinated," he said.
Obama said the Haitian leader's message from his people to the U.S. was "an emotional moment."
Préval told Obama "from the bottom of my heart and on behalf of the Haitian people, thank you, thank you, thank you."
Obama said that an aircraft carrier has arrived in the area along with helicopters to deliver supplies. Though the airport is now open in the capital of Port-au-Prince, roadways are mostly closed and the port is still shut down.
The president stressed that it will take time to deliver all relief supplies to those who need them but urged Americans to continue to donate and thanked relief workers and the 10,000 U.S. troops on the ground there.
Obama also thanked Brazil, Canada, Mexico, France and the Dominican Republic for assisting with rescue and relief.
"The entire world stands with the government and the people of Haiti, for in Haiti's devastation we all see the common humanity that we share," he said.