More world leaders and government officials have extended messages of condolences to China over the deadly earthquake that jolted the southwestern province of Sichuan Monday.
On behalf of the Afghan people, President Hamid Karzai expressed deep sympathy to the Chinese people and condolences to the victims' families and believes the Chinese government and its people will quickly pass the hard times.
Irish President Mary McAleese and Foreign Minister Dermot Ahern TD extended sincere condolences to China and expressed their hope that the disaster relief work will go smoothly and the Irish side is willing to provide as much relief aid as it can.
Niger's President Mamadou Tandja said the Nigerian government and its people sent sincere sympathy to the victims' families and supports the Chinese government's and its people's efforts in battling the disaster.
Sudanese President Omer al-Bashir said he was deeply grieved at the heavy property losses and casualties of the terrible earthquake and extended deep sympathy to the Chinese government, its people and the victims' families.
Australian Governor-General Michael Jeffery expressed deepest condolences to the Chinese people and believes that the Chinese government and its people will overcome the difficulties and the Australian government is willing to offer as much help as it can.
Spain's King Juan Carlos extended his sincere sympathy and heartfelt support to the Chinese people and the victims' families and wishes injured people a speedy recovery. Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos said the Spanish government is willing to provide every necessary assistance to China.
Norwegian King Harald V expressed deep sorrow at the heavy casualties caused by the terrible earthquake and extended his deepest sympathy to the affected people.
Icelandic President Olafur Ragnar Grimsson and Prime Minister Geir H. Haarde sent their deepest sympathy and support to the Chinese people and pledged to offer help to China.
Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak also expressed sincere sympathy to the victims' families.
Kim Yong Il, premier of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, expressed his deep condolences over the casualties and property losses in the earthquake and said the Chinese people, lead by the Chinese Communist Party, are definitely able to overcome the disaster.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad expressed his condolences to the Chinese President Hu Jintao, the Chinese government and the bereaved families of the victims over the deadly earthquake.
U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice also offered heartfelt sympathy to the people in the disaster-hit areas and pledged to offer as much help as possible.
The death toll of the 7.8-magnitude earthquake hitting southwestern China rose to 14,866 by 2 p.m. Wednesday (0600 GMT), Xinhua learnt from authoritative sources.
(Xinhua News Agency May 15, 2008)