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South American Leaders Discuss Aid for Haiti

South American leaders have held a summit in Quito, Ecuador to discuss coordinating aid efforts in earthquake-devastated Haiti.

Members of the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) gathered Tuesday for the talks. The group includes the presidents of Colombia, Peru, Paraguay and host nation Ecuador, among others.

Haitian President Rene Preval attended the meeting, which took place exactly four weeks after the earthquake struck Haiti, leaving an estimated 200,000 people dead and about one million others homeless.

The gathering was to have included Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, but he canceled at the last minute. Mr. Chavez has criticized the U.S. aid operation in Haiti.

He has also had disagreements with Colombia over its decision to allow the U.S. access to seven military bases for anti-drug operations.

Peruvian President Alan Garcia Tuesday said he hoped the region could work together as a bloc to help Haiti.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.