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Dutch Prime Minister Extends Condolences to China over Qinghai Earthquake

On April 15, Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende extended his condolences to China over the devastating earthquake which hit the Qinghai Province on 14 April.

In his message sent to Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, Prime Minister Balkenende said:

"I was greatly saddened to learn of the earthquake in Qinghai Province. This is the second major natural disaster to hit China in two years. The terrible earthquake in Sichuan Province in 2008 is still fresh in our memories.

On behalf of the government and people of the Netherlands, I would like to offer my sincere condolences to you and the people of China. In these difficult times, our thoughts are with the victims and with the families of those who died. We hope that they will find the strength to come to terms with this appalling disaster.

The earthquake has disrupted everyday life and caused extensive damage. I commend the tireless efforts of those in your country who are working in difficult conditions to bring relief to the survivors.

I'm looking forward to my visit to Shanghai to attend the opening of the World Expo. It will be a great honour to meet with President Hu Jintao. I am looking forward to meeting you on another occasion. "

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