Following the earthquake in the Abruzzo region of Italy, Federal Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier today (7 April) sent a letter of sympathy to his Italian counterpart Franco Frattini, in which he stated:
"I am shocked and saddened at the terrible news and pictures of the Abruzzo earthquake disaster which has cost so many lives and caused such widespread destruction. Allow me to express to you and your Government my heartfelt condolences.
At this difficult hour all of us here in Germany sympathize with the Italian people's trauma and grief. Our thoughts are with all those who have lost family members and friends, as well as with those made homeless by this catastrophe.
We wish the injured a speedy recovery. All of us sincerely hope that the rescuers quickly succeed in finding all those still buried under the rubble. Please let me know if you require any assistance. We stand ready to do what we can to support the Italian disaster teams."