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(See Translation in Arabic section)

THE $2 million support we're putting in to support the relief effort is an initial amount that we're providing to Lebanon and the international assistance in place. I particularly want to thank those other embassies that have assisted us and Australians in these circumstances, particularly the British; they've been tremendous and we thank them very much. I also want to thank our embassy staff and those working on consular issues. We reached out directly to the Australian Lebanese community and we had engagements with them to express our sincere sympathies for the terrible events in Beirut but also to let them know what we were doing to assist. We are considering a further round of support. I also want to stress our advice is this is a terrible accident. An absolutely terrible accident. I'm sure there'll be inquiries into how that occurred and I note that there is, actions already are under way to that end in Lebanon now. This is a terrible accident. I know many in Australia, in the Lebanese-Australian community, will be feeling it very deeply and I was pleased to be able to talk to a number of those yesterday.


Copyright 2007