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10 September, 1999
Alternate Foreign Minister Yiannos Kranidiotis yesterday expressed warm thanks over the messages of solidarity, support and readiness for assistance by a large number of foreign countries, organizations and agencies, as well as over aid provided for Greece so far to help it handle the consequences of Tuesday's disastrous earthquake.
"I wish in particular to thank the foreign rescue teams which are participating in efforts to rescue and save fellow humans of ours with their precious contribution. International solidarity which has been shown from the very first moment of the devastating earthquake which struck Athens forges the bonds of friendship and cooperation between our peoples," Mr. Kranidiotis said.
Pope sends condolences: ROME (ANA - L. Hatzikyriakos)
Pope John Paul II extended his condolences for victims and solidarity for the population of Athens, which was struck by an earthquake on Tuesday.
In a telegram sent to the apostolic nuncio in Athens, he expressed his strong emotion and sadness over the victims and is praying for feelings of solidarity among the population of the country and the international community which will help rebuild what has been destroyed.
The French news agency AFP said in a dispatch yesterday that French President Jacques Chirac sent a message of "sympathy and solidarity" to Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis. "My thought is with the injured and the families of the dead," Mr. Chirac said.
Israeli President Ezer Weizman has addressed a letter to President Kostis Stephanopoulos, expressing his condolences and sympathy to the Greek people over the earthquake victims.
An ANA dispatch from Berlin said that the president of the German Bundestag, during the House's session yesterday, called on German citizens to show active solidarity towards the peoples of Greece and Turkey.
The German government will send tents, beds and blankets to Greece as aid for the victims. Following consultations between German Defense Minister Rudolf Scharping and his Greek counterpart Akis Tsohatzopoulos, 300 tents, 1,500 beds and 3,000 blankets are expected to arrive in Athens today. A 14-member German rescue team with 11 sniffer dogs is already in Athens.
In a related development, Saudi Arabia decided to send humanitarian aid. According to the Saudi Arabian news agency SPA, food-staffs, tents and blankets will be sent. Saudi Arabia had sent similar aid to the victims of the Aug. 17 earthquake that hit Turkey.
Source: Athens News Agency