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Prince Charles meets Bam survivors in Iran

Updated: February 10, 2004
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Prince Charles was greeted by scenes of devastation when he arrived in the Iranian city of Bam, which was hit by a terrible earthquake in December. The Prince of Wales is currently touring the Middle East and, in his capacity as a patron of the Red Cross, he was determined to visit the stricken region.

The prince looked visibly distressed as he was shown around the ancient city whose mud-brick walls crumbled in the tragedy. "I wish we could do more," said the royal as he met relief workers and survivors of the disaster. "We've been trying to gather more assistance in Britain." Some 40,000 people lost their lives when the earthquake struck on December 26.

His visit to Iran is being taken as evidence that the once frosty relations between Britain and the Islamic republic are warming. Earlier in the day he met with President Mohammad Khatami in the capital Tehran.

"Dialogue among civilizations and religions is a necessity of today's world," said the Prince, before catching a flight to Saudi Arabia to continue his historic tour. The last time a British royal made an official visit to Iran was in 1975 when the Queen Mother came to the country.

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Photo: ©
The Prince of Wales was eager to meet survivors of the tragedy and to assure them he would do all he could to help. "We've been trying to gather more assistance in Britain," he saidPhoto: © AFPy
Photo: ©
Prince Charles walks in the rubble of what was once one of Iran's most beautiful citiesPhoto: © AFP

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