Serbia offers assistance to Greece

BELGRADE -- Reacting to the tragic aftermath of the Greek forest fires, Serbia's top officials offered their assistance and condolences.

President Boris Tadić and Prime Minister Vojislav Koštunica on Sunday sent separate messages to Greek President Karolos Papoulias and Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis after wildfires in that country claimed at least 54 lives over the weekend.

The president offered to his Greek counterpart his deepest condolences on behalf of the Serbian people and his personal behalf on the occasion of the tragedy which affected friendly Greece, a statement said.

"We sympathize with you and families that lost their dearest," Tadić said, and added that Serbia offered its assistance in order to alleviate the consequences of large fires.

Koštunica said that he wanted Karamanlis to know that the Serbian government was prepared immediately to do its best to prevent further tragedies and alleviate the consequences.

Kostunica said he was convinced that tragedy which had affected Greece was an opportunity to demonstrate the friendship between the two peoples which had been reaffirmed in the worst circumstances countless times in history.