India delivers first consignment of quake-relief material to China

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New Delhi, May 17 (UNI) India today delivered the first consignment of the relief material, including tents and blankets, to China for the victims of the recent earthquake in Sichuan province.

The second consignment carrying additional relief supplies including medicines, tents and sleeping bags, is expected to reach Chengdu on Monday, the External Affairs Ministry announced here.

Further relief flights will follow thereafter, the Ministry added.

''The first Indian Air Force aircraft carrying tents, blankets and other relief material arrived at Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan Province which is close to the epicentre of the earthquake, at 1745 hrs today,'' the Ministry said.

India's Ambassador to China Nirupama Rao Consul General of India, Guangzhou, Gautam Bambawale, and officials of the Sichuan Government were present at the airport.

While receiving the consignment Mr Ran Jinjun, a senior official of the Civil Affairs Bureau of the Sichuan Provincial People's Government, said they were ''deeply grateful to the friendly people of India'' and the Government of India for their timely assistance which had arrived so soon following the earthquake.

The consignment was immediately transferred to the affected areas.

As an expression of sympathy and support of the people of India for those affected by the devastating Wenchuan earthquake in Sichuan, India had on May 15 announced an assistance of five million US Dollars.

The offer was conveyed by External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee to the Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi during their meeting in Yekaterinberg on May 15.

The Chinese Foreign Minister welcomed the offer.

UNI RB SB HS1723

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