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President George W. Bush Signs Condolence Book at the Indian Embassy

Washington, DC
January 3, 2005

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President George W. Bush, accompanied by his wife Laura Bush and former Presidents Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush visited the Indian Embassy at 1100 hrs on Monday, January 3, 2005 to sign the condolence book for Tsunami victims in India.

2. Mrs. Bush offered a bouquet of white roses as a sign of condolence to the victims.

3. President George W. Bush wrote the following into the condolence book:

“We pray for the victims of this terrible disaster – and we stand firmly with the people of India as she recovers.”

This was signed by all four dignitaries.

4. In response to a question posed by an Indian journalist about the possibility of a Presidential visit some day to India, the President responded 

I appreciate that very much. I was just telling the Ambassador, when I spoke to the Prime Minister I assured him that my intentions were to make it this year to India. In the meantime, though, our country stands with the people who have suffered. We want the Indian government, the Indian people to know that we will help in any way we can. I have asked President Clinton and President Bush to lead an effort to raise private contributions to go to the families of those who have suffered, and to help provide food, medicine, water, shelter, whatever the Indian government thinks is necessary.

I want to thank the Indian government for taking a lead in this issue. One of the first things we did was to put together a core group of nations, nations that are capable of organizing relief efforts around the region, and the Indian government has been especially strong, as a part of this core group. And I told the Ambassador to thank the Prime Minister for his very strong leadership.

Our navies are coordinating together, our search and rescues are coordinating together. And now the American people and the American government want to help where help is needed.

Thank you all.