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Powell Reiterates U.S. Commitment To Tsunami Survivors

4 January 2005 -- U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell today described the Asian tsunami disaster as a global "tragedy" and vowed the United States is committed to helping the survivors.

"The aftermath of the tsunami is a tragedy for the entire world. And the United States will certainly not turn away from those in desperate need. And I think we have demonstrated in recent days our willingness to provide support, not only financial support but the military support," Powell said.

Powell, speaking at a news conference in Bangkok, said the biggest problem now is not collecting relief funds, but deciding how to distribute the $2 billion dollars that has been pledged by the international community.

Powell is in the region along with U.S. President George W. Bush's brother Jeb, the governor of Florida state, to get a first-hand look at the damage done by the earthquake and tsunamis.

UN relief coordinator Jan Egeland has described the international response as "truly overwhelming."


Copyright (c) 2005. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

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