French President Nicolas Sarkozy met with Haitian President Rene Preval in Port-au-Prince on Wednesday. In an effort to improve relations, Sarkozy announced that France will assist Haiti to recover from the earthquake.
[Nicolas Sarkozy, French President]:
"I first want to tell you about the emotion that the Haitian tragedy evoked in France. The images that we have seen of your reality which only imperfectly show the pain, the challenges that you have endured, have evoked a big surge of support, and I come to tell the Haitian people that you are not alone."
France will provide thousands of tents and tarpaulins to help shelter 200,000 people during Haiti's rainy season, which typically begins in late March or April.
France has pledged to help reconstruct the ornate white Haitian Presidential Palace in Port-au-Prince, which partially collapsed during the quake.
France will also provide experts to work with the Haitian Prime Minister and his staff on the recovery effort for two years.
It was the first visit by a French head of state to the former French Caribbean colony.