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Home >> World
UPDATED: 14:48, February 17, 2005
Former US presidents to visit tsunami-ravaged Aceh
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Former US presidents Bill Clinton and George Bush -- the current president's father -- are scheduled to arrive in Indonesia on Sunday as part of their tour of tsunami-hit countries in South Asia and Southeast Asia.

In their planned visit, the two will see for themselves the scale of the damage caused by the tsunamis which hit Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam and North Sumatra on Dec. 26 last year, as well as 10 other countries in the region, Deputy press attache of the US embassy Timothy Gerhardson was quoted Thursday by The Jakarta Postas saying.

Gerhardson said the two former presidents would also observe humanitarian relief efforts and the reconstruction process in the areas.

He said the two former presidents were sent by President George W. Bush to represent US civilians and companies. They are also scheduled to visit Sri Lanka, Thailand and the Maldives between Feb. 19 and Feb. 21.

The two former presidents would deliver aid during their planned trip to Aceh but "we don't know how much or in what form," Gerhardson said.

He said that efforts to raise funds from civilians and companies were still ongoing under the two former presidents' coordination.

Former president Bill Clinton was appointed as the United Nations' special envoy for tsunami relief this month, with a mandate to focus on the reconstruction of devastated areas and ensure that the international community remains engaged for the long term.

Currently, he is raising money for victims of the disaster after President George W. Bush chose him and former president George Bush, to head a non-governmental fund-raising effort in the United States, it said.

At President George W. Bush's request, Clinton and former president George H.W. Bush are helping to encourage private-sector financial support to help tsunami-struck areas.

The embassy, however, did not provide details of the two former presidents' schedule in the country.

Source: Xinhua

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