Bush telephones Ms Kumaratunge to express shock, concern

[TamilNet, Thursday, 30 December 2004, 11:22 GMT]
US President George W. Bush has telephoned President Chandrika Kumaratunga Wednesday and conveyed his shock and concern at the disaster wrought by the tsunamis in Sri Lanka, a statement from the President's office said Thursday. The US President has also inquired as to how the US could be of assistance.

Immediately after his conversation with President Kumaratunga and other leaders of the affected countries, President Bush has reportedly told a news conference that he felt the enormity of the calamity suffered by the Asian region.

"These past few days have brought loss and grief to the world that is beyond our comprehension. The United States will continue to stand with the affected governments as they care for the victims. We will stand with them as they start to rebuild their communities. I assure those leaders that this is just only the beginning of our help," President Bush has reportedly said at the news conference.

"President Kumaratunga thanked President Bush for the US assistance already received and briefed him on the scale of the damage and havoc, having just returned from one of the affected areas and seeing for herself the destruction," the statement issued by the Sri Lankan Presidential Secretariat said, adding that she briefed President Bush on the specific and immediate needs of the country and explained to him her plans for rehabilitation and reconstruction both in the short and long term.

According to the statement President Kumaratunga during the telephone conversation has said that the damaged infrastructure needed to be put in place urgently and that overseas assistance would be welcomed.

 

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