WASHINGTON – Former U.S. Presidents George H.W. Bush (search) and Bill Clinton (search) will visit tsunami-affected areas in southern Thailand later this month, the Thai foreign ministry said Saturday.
Bush and Clinton will arrive Feb. 19 for a two-day visit to express their condolences and discuss ways in which the United States can provide further assistance, a ministry statement said.
President George W. Bush asked his father and Clinton to head a nationwide effort at private fund-raising to help devastated countries soon after the Dec. 26 tsunami wreaked destruction around the Indian Ocean region.
United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan (search) also appointed Clinton as a special U.N. envoy to focus on cleanup and reconstruction efforts, and to ensure that the international community stays engaged in the long term.
The total amount of tsunami relief donations from the United States reached $400 million at the end of January, with about $1.5 million earmarked for Thailand.
The United States has used Thailand's U-tapao (search) air base as a staging area for its relief operations in the region, distributing food, water, clothes, medicines and other supplies.
Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra will meet and host a dinner for Bush and Clinton on Feb. 19.