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More countries, international organizations express sympathy to China in wake of heavy snow
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11:32, February 07, 2008

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More countries and international organizations have sent letters of sympathy and concern to Chinese President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao since Tuesday over the recent havoc caused by the heavy snowfalls in the country.

State leaders who have sent their messages of sympathy to China in recent days included Bangladesh President Iajuddin Ahmed, Chairman of the State Peace and Development Council of Myanmar Than Shwe, Israeli President Shimon Peres, Nigerien President Mamadou Tandja, Comoros President Ahmed Abdullah Mohamed Sambi and Surinamese President Ronald Venetiaan.

Heads of government who sent messages of sympathy included Bangladesh caretaker government Chief Advisor Fakhruddin Ahmed, Myanmar Prime Minister General Thein Sein, Finnish Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen and Jamaican Prime Minister Bruce Golding.

Secretary-General of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) Michel Jarraud also sent messages of sympathy.

In their message to Hu and Wen, they extended deep sympathy and cordial condolences to the Chinese people suffering from heavy casualties and property losses in the havoc caused by the heavy snowfalls.

They also expressed the belief that the Chinese government and people will be able to withstand severe tests, overcome the disaster and resume normal life soon with great courage and perseverance.

The Japanese government has pledged emergency relief worth 57 million Japanese yen (about 0.535 million U.S. dollars), and the Malaysian government has also pledged one million U.S. dollars in aid.

The Norwegian government said it will provide humanitarian aid to China.

On Tuesday and Wednesday, state foreign ministers, including Bangladesh's Foreign Adviser Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury, Myanmar's Foreign Minister U Nyan Win, Ukraine's Foreign Minister Volodymyr Ohryzko, Armenian Foreign Minister Vartan Oscanian, Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Paet, Foreign Minister of Montenegro Milan Rocen, Lebanese Foreign Minister Fawzi Salloukh and Niger's Foreign Minister Aichatou Mindaoudou also conveyed sympathy on behalf of their governments to the Chinese people suffering from the snow disaster that swept southern regions of the country.

They said they believed that the Chinese government and its people will be able to meet the challenge, overcome the difficulties and conquer the disaster.

The United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UN/ISDR) issued a press communique, praising the Chinese government's rapidness and quick action to mobilize resources for disaster relief, considering it worth learning by other countries.

Heavy snow has been falling in China's eastern, central and southern regions since mid-January, leading to deaths, structural collapses, blackouts, accidents, transport problems and livestock and crop losses in 19 provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions, according to the Ministry of Civil Affairs of China.

More than 100 million people have been affected, and at least 60 people have died in the severe weather.

Source: Xinhua

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