Rumsfeld Visits Embassy in Washington to Express Condolences

Washington, DC: US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld Monday night described the massive earthquake that struck Pakistan as “a tragedy of enormous proportions,” and offered his condolences to the victims.
Rumsfeld made the remarks during a visit to the Pakistan embassy where he signed a condolence book. The defense secretary, who was accompanies by his wife, said he spoke with President General Pervez Musharraf Monday afternoon to express his sympathies and support in this hour of need.
He was received by Ambassador Jehangir Karamat, who earlier returned to Washington after a trip to Pakistan.
In a written statement earlier, Rumsfeld said General John Abizaid, commander of US Central Command, and other officials have been in touch with military officials in Pakistan, and that CENTCOM is moving five CH-47 and three UH-60 helicopters into Pakistan immediately. “Additional capabilities for airborne reconnaissance, heavy lift ground equipment, and medical support are being identified and dispatched from within the Central Command region,” Rumsfeld’s statement said.
“Our prayers go with those who have lost loved ones in the terrible situation,” he added.
The Pentagon announced Monday it will set up a humanitarian center in Pakistan, as the US continued to send food, medicine and other supplies into the earthquake-stricken region.
Navy Rear Admiral Michael Lefever has been charged with setting up the center in Islamabad, to help coordinate the US response to the quake that struck South Asia on Saturday.

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Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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