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Countries Express Condolences, Offer Help After Earthquake

  • VOA News

Countries around the world have expressed sadness over Saturday's massive earthquake in South Asia and have offered assistance.

President Bush expressed U. S. condolences while Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice says the United States stands with Pakistan and India, just as they stood with the United States after Hurricane Katrina. She says she spoke with her counterparts in Pakistan and India to convey sympathy and offer whatever assistance may be needed. The European Union says it is ready to provide money and emergency aid. British officials say they are assessing the situation and have put search and rescue teams on standby. The Turkish Red Crescent has also put teams on alert. The United Nations says it is looking into how it can assist in relief and rescue operations and subsequent recovery and reconstruction efforts. A UN spokesman says U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan is saddened by the destruction and loss of life. Russian President Vladimir Putin also offered condolences. Chinese President Hu Jintao expressed grief in a message to Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf. Pakistani Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz says his country has received several offers of help and is reviewing them.

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