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Students from China's Quake-hit Region Tour Bulgaria

Forty-three students from China's quake-hit Chongqing region, who had arrived in the Bulgarian capital Sofia on Monday, left for the picturesque village resort of Kranevo on Tuesday morning.

Kranevo, located 20 km northeast of the famous Black Sea city of Varna, is the first stop on the students' rehabilitation tour of the country. They will spend five days there, enjoying the beautiful sea, golden beach, warm sunshine and the hospitality of Bulgarian friends.

Before leaving Sofia, the delegation met with Anton Popov, the chief-secretary of the State Agency for Youth and Sports, Chinese Ambassador to Bulgaria Zhang Wanxue, as well as representatives of other Bulgarian institutions.

Ambassador Zhang expressed his nation's gratitude for the compassion and concern shown by Bulgaria toward the people of China's earthquake-ravaged regions.

He also wished the students a good time at the Black Sea resort and hoped they would emerge soon from their trauma.

Popov gave each student a gift, saying it was the first time that Bulgaria had played host to Chinese children. He also wished the guests a great time at the best tourist sites of his country.

Angel Orbetsov, the director of the Bulgarian Foreign Ministry's Department of Asia-Pacific Affairs and former ambassador to China, also expressed deep condolences for the victims of the May 12 quake in southwestern China, while hoping that the tour of Bulgaria would help the children recover quickly.

The students, aged between 9 and 16 years, are visiting Bulgaria at the invitation of the country's government.

They were chosen for their bravery in the aftermath of the deadly quake. The children will spend 20 days traveling to three Bulgarian tourist sites.

(Xinhua News Agency August 6, 2008)

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