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US President sends a message of condolences to President Papadopoulos
2005-08-18 10:44:44

Nicosia, Aug 18 -- US President George Bush has sent a message of condolences to Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos for Sunday’s air crash that resulted in the death of 121 people.

''Laura and I send our deepest condolences to you, the Cypriot and Greek people, and the loved ones of the victims of Helios Airlines Flight 522'', Mr. Bush said.

''In this time of national mourning, the Cypriot and Greek people are in the thoughts and prayers of the American people'', he added.

"We also stand ready to offer assistance that you may seek", the US President concluded.

Moreover, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, in a telephone conversation with Mr. Papadopoulos, expressed her condolences and sympathy to the relatives of the victims of the Helios Airways plane crash.

Ms. Rice assured President Papadopoulos that the US administration is ready and willing to grant any assistance required.

President Papadopoulos expressed his gratitude for Ms. Rice’s expression of support and assured her that the people of Cyprus deeply appreciate the American condolences and expression of support.

He reiterated the government’s determination to fully investigate the cause of the accident as well as the conditions that led to the plane tragedy, and to attribute responsibility, if there is any.

For this reason, he said, and bearing in mind that the aircraft was made in the US, if it is deemed necessary then the help of independent US experts will be asked.

Ms. Rice reiterated the US willingness to help in any way possible and said that her country would send an independent expert whenever the Cypriot government makes a relevant request.

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