May 5, 2008 / 11:07 PM / 11 years ago

States, aid agencies offer to help storm-hit Myanmar

(Adds U.S. comment, updates toll)

May 5 (Reuters) - Myanmar’s military authorities gave the United Nations permission on Monday to send emergency aid to help hundreds of thousands of victims of a cyclone, a U.N. spokesman said.

The military junta said it feared at least 10,000 people had died with 3,000 more missing.

Here some quotes from government and aid agency officials:

WORLD FOOD PROGRAMME SPOKESMAN IN BANGKOK:

"The government indicated willingness to accept international assistance through the U.N. agencies. I’d say it was a careful green light. The U.N. will begin preparing assistance now to be delivered and transported to Myanmar as quickly as possible."

INDIAN FOREIGN MINISTRY STATEMENT:

"In keeping with India’s historical, close and good neighbourly ties with the friendly people of Myanmar, the government of India is providing immediate relief assistance.

"Two Indian naval ships ... will sail immediately to Yangon carrying food items, tents, blankets, clothing, medicines, etc."

U.S. STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESMAN:

"We also have a disaster assistance response team that is standing by and ready to go in to Burma to help try to assess need there.

"My understanding was they had asked for permission but the initial response from the government was that they weren’t inclined to let them in."

EU OFFICIAL ON EUROPEAN COMMISSION RESPONSE:

"The Commission is ready to provide humanitarian aid as quickly as possible once it has more information about the needs."

BRITISH FOREIGN OFFICE MINISTER, MEG MUNN:

"We call on the Burmese regime to provide rapid support to its people and to accept international assistance."

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