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US offers condolences to Malawi over VP Chilima’s death

The United States government has offered its condolences to Malawi’s President Lazarus Chakwera following the death of Vice-President Saulos Chilima and eight others in a plane crash on Monday.

In a phone call, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken conveyed the condolences, saying: “Please be assured of the condolence and support of the US Government and US President Joe Biden for you, the Malawi Government, and the Malawian people during this difficult time.”

Blinken added that the US knew those who had passed away “were not only senior officials of your government, but also individuals you knew and cared for personally”.

President Chakwera expressed his gratitude for the US’ support, saying that the solidarity of a trusted friend like the US “goes a long way in assuaging the anguish that this tragedy has caused”.

The plane crash occurred on Monday, killing all on board, including former First Lady Shanil Dzimbiri.

Malawi has declared a 21-day mourning period, during which flags will fly at half-mast.

The US has joined other countries, including South Africa, in offering its condolences to Malawi over the tragic loss.

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