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WTO Chief Expresses Condolences to Earthquake Victims

World Trade Organization (WTO) Director General Pascal Lamy has expressed his condolences to victims in the strong earthquake that hit China's southwest Sichuan Province on Monday, according to a letter available on Friday.

"On behalf of all staff of the WTO, I would like to convey to you, and through you, to the people of China, our condolences and deepest regrets to the victims and their families who have suffered in this severe disaster," Lamy said in a letter to Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao.

"We are encouraged to see that the Chinese government and military forces are making all possible efforts to save lives and minimize the losses in the regions hit by the earthquake," Lamy said in the letter dated May 15.

"Please be assured that the staff of the WTO Secretariat and I are ready to offer any help that be deemed necessary," he added.

So far more than 22,000 people have been killed in the 7.8- magnitude earthquake, according to the emergency response office of the Chinese State Council.

(Xinhua News Agency May 17, 2008)

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