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Latest News
Special> Aftermath of the Quake> Latest News
UPDATED: May 20, 2008  
Chinese Embassies Worldwide Mourn Quake Victims, Some Foreign Leaders Join

Chinese embassies across the world Monday mourned for the dead in an earthquake which hit southwest China's Sichuan province exactly a week ago. Some leaders and senior officials in Asian, European and African countries attended mourning ceremonies at local Chinese embassies.

Mauritian President Anerood Jugnauth went to the Chinese embassy to pay his respect to the victims of the deadly quake thathas killed tens of thousands of people.

"My sincere condolences to the bereaved families and my sympathy and solidarity with the people of the People's Republic of China," Jugnauth wrote on the condolence book.

Vietnam's government and people "are deeply grieved for the victims in Sichuan earthquake, and sent great condolences to their families, the Chinese people and government," Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung said in the Chinese embassy Monday afternoon.

He said "the brotherly Chinese people will overcome the aftermath of the earthquake and resume normal work and life."

In Seoul, South Korean Foreign Minister Yu Myung-Hwan attended the mourning ceremony at the Chinese embassy starting from 3:28 p.m. local time (0628 GMT) on Monday.

"Wish Chinese government and people conquer the disaster," he wrote in the book of condolence.

At the Chinese embassy in Finland, Finnish Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen mourned for the earthquake victims.

"I represent the Finnish government to mourn for the dead in the earthquake and express our profound condolence to their families and Chinese people," he said.

He spoke highly of the rescue measures taken by the Chinese government, saying the Finnish government would like to provide more aid to the quake affected areas in China.

When meeting with Chinese Ambassador to Botswana Ding Xiaowen on Monday, Botswana's President Festus Mogae asked about the latest information of the earthquake and spoke highly of Chinese government's rescue efforts.

Laos' Prime Minister Bouasone Bouphavanh went to the Chinese embassy in Vientiane Monday afternoon, sending his condolence to the quake victims.

At the Chinese embassy in Kampala, Uganda's Minister of Foreign Affairs Sam Kutesa on Monday signed in the book of condolence and commended the Chinese government for its "extremely exemplary" efforts in handling the disaster.

Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama went to the Chinese embassy to send his condolence to the victims. Bogollagama said his country will send a 10-member medical team to China.

In Dhaka, dozens of Bangladeshis including officials and party leaders signed on the condolence book at the Chinese embassy.

Former Bangladeshi President Hussain Muhammad Ershad was the first to sign on the condolence book. "I am deeply shocked and grieved at the loss of lives and damages caused by the recent earthquake that hit China," wrote Ershad, who commended the Chinese government's swift response to the earthquake.

Parliament Speaker and acting President of Cyprus Marios Karoyian expressed his profound grief on Monday over the devastating earthquake that hit China's Sichuan province.

"We convey our deepest condolences to the whole people of China, in the hope that our sympathy might alleviate even in the slightest their feelings of sorrow and loss and their suffering from this immense tragedy," Karoyian wrote on a book of condolence at the Chinese embassy in Nicosia.

Bogdan Olteanu, Romanian president of the Chamber of Deputies, said at the Chinese embassy in Bucharest that "the hearts of Romanian people are closely connected with the hearts of Chinese people at this moment.

On Monday, from Asia to Europe, from Africa to America, all Chinese embassies and consulates hoisted the Chinese national flags to half-mast and observed three minutes of silence, joining the national mourning with their 1.3 billion compatriots at home.

China declared the national mourning from Monday to Wednesday for the quake victims, during which all public entertainment activities will be halted.

At 2:28 p.m. Monday (0628 GMT), China mourned for three minutes to show their respect to the more than 34,000 people confirmed dead after the magnitude-8.0 quake, while air sirens and horns of cars, trains and ships sounded in grief.

(Xinhua News Agency May 20, 2008)

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