Over 200 dignitaries sign condolence book at Chinese Embassy in Bucharest

2008-05-22 02:36:53 GMT       2008-05-22 10:36:53 (Beijing Time)       Xinhua English

BUCHAREST, May 21 (Xinhua) -- Over 200 Romanian politicians and members of diplomatic corps in Bucharest signed the book of condolences opened at the Chinese Embassy in memory of the victims of last week's devastating earthquake in China's Sichuan province.

"I think solidarity is the only thing the Chinese people need most in these moments and we have to express it and materialize it through our humble contributions," said Romanian President Traian Basescu as he signed the condolence book.

He expressed deep regret for the huge number of victims and the severe damage inflicted by the quake, while voicing confidence that the Chinese people will soon overcome the crisis.

Prime Minister Calin Popescu-Tariceanu also expressed his sorrow and condolences for the families left bereaved by the powerful 8.0-magnitude earthquake.

"The government has decided to send humanitarian relief to China to help the huge number of people who have been rendered homeless," said Tariceanu. Romania will provide materials for building temporary shelters in the quake-hit areas, he added.

The book of condolences was also signed by the ambassadors to Romania of the United States, Russia, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Denmark, Poland, Croatia, Armenia, Vietnam, Brazil, Chile, Albania, Japan, India, Palestine, Belarus, South Korea, Syria, Pakistan, Azerbaijan, Austria, Egypt and Canada.

The staff of the Chinese Embassy in Bucharest observed three minutes of silence on Monday starting at 9:28 a.m. local time (0628 GMT, or 2:28 p.m. Beijing time), exactly one week after the deadly quake struck.

The Chinese government ordered a three-day period of national mourning from Monday to Wednesday, with national flags at home and Chinese diplomatic missions abroad being flown at half-mast and all recreation activities suspended.

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