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Albanian PM Sends Condolences to China over Earthquake

Albanian Prime Minister Sali Berisha sent a message of condolence Tuesday night to Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao over the huge death toll and damages caused by this week's strong earthquake.

"Dear Premier Wen Jiabao, the earthquake, which hit the Sichuan province in China and claimed numerous lives, has deeply saddened me and all Albanians," Berisha said in the message.

"In these very difficult days, my government, the Albanian people and I share with you and the friendly Chinese people the deepest pain inflicted by the quake," Berisha said.

"I avail myself of this occasion to express to you, your government, the family members of the victims and the entire Chinese people my sympathy, solidarity and the most sincere condolences over the loss of their beloved," he said.

The earthquake, measuring 7.8 on the Richter scale, struck Sichuan Province in southwestern China Monday. The earthquake death toll across China rose to 14,866 by 2:00 PM on Wednesday (0600 GMT), Xinhua learnt from authoritative sources.

(Xinhua News Agency May 14, 2008)

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