News sources are now reporting that US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has canceled the remainder of her Asia trip to deal with the crisis in Haiti.
The trip would have taken her to Papua New Guinea, Australia and New Zealand.
Secretary of State Clinton called the long history of natural disasters that continue to trouble Haiti "biblical" and "tragic". She has a special relationship with the Americas' poorest country: she and former president Bill Clinton honeymooned there, while Mr Clinton is currently the United Nations special envoy to Haiti.
In calling off the rest of her trip, Clinton will miss the 25th Australia-United States Ministerial Consultations in Canberra, which would have brought Clinton and US Defense Secretary Robert Gates together with their Australian counterparts.
Clinton announced that she plans to reschedule the trip, and that the three nations were understanding of her decision.
She had planned to highlight environmental issues in Papua New Guinea, before going to New Zealand to meet Prime Minister John Key to discuss progress on the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a potential free trade group that links Singapore, New Zealand, Brunei, Chile, and possibly the US. From there, Clinton would have traveled to Australia for discussions that likely would have featured Australian involvement in the Afghanistan war.
Reuters, "Clinton to cut short Asia trip after Haitian quake," January 13, 2010, http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE60C5N020100113?type=politicsNews
Reuters, "Clinton to talk bases, security on Pacific swing," January 10, 2010, http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE60A0O320100111?type=politicsNews
Agence France Presse (through Yahoo! News), "Clinton cancels Asia tour to deal with Haiti crisis," January 13, 2010,http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20100113/pl_afp/haitiquakeusdiplomacyclinton...