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Bush Praises India for Extending Help to Quake-Hit Pakistan


President Bush has telephoned Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to extend condolences and to get an update on Indian relief efforts after Saturday's quake.

The White House says Mr. Bush praised Mr. Singh for reaching out to Pakistan and offering assistance.

Just hours before, the first Indian plane with relief supplies arrived at a military base near Islamabad, carrying tents, medicine and other goods.

In Islamabad, President Pervez Musharraf expressed gratitude to the world for sending aid to quake victims. In a televised address to the nation, General Musharraf specifically thanked Pakistan's historic rival India, saying Prime Minister Singh was very kind to call him and offer all possible assistance.

British Prime Minister Tony Blair has pledged another $17.5 million for quake victims, in addition to the $3.5 million that Britain pledged earlier.

The United States has announced an initial emergency aid contribution of up to $50 million, while the United Nations has appealed for $272 million to provide emergency relief.

Washington also sent at least four planes to Pakistan carrying food, water, blankets and other supplies. Officials say U.S. helicopters have ferried more than 14,000 kilograms of goods to supply centers.

Some information for this report provided by AP and AFP.

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