World offers to send immediate aid to earthquake stricken Turkey & Syria

AP , Monday 6 Feb 2023

Various countries in the region as well as the EU and around the world have offered to send immediate assistance to help with the rescue effort after Monday's devastating earthquake that struck southeast Turkey and northern Syria.



NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said members of the alliance were mobilizing support to help Turkey deal with the aftermath of Monday's devastating earthquake.

Stoltenberg expressed ``full solidarity with our ally Turkey in the aftermath of this terrible earthquake ... NATO Allies are mobilizing support now.''

In a tweet, Stoltenberg said he was in contact with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu. Several NATO members have already said they are planning to send support to help victims of the earthquake in Turkey and Syria.

Taiwan's foreign ministry said it would donate $200,000 to help Turkey with the rescue efforts and was coordinating with Turkey about sending specialized search and rescue teams. China also said there are no Chinese citizens among the victims. It did not say if it would be sending search and rescue teams.

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte says a search and rescue team from the Netherlands will travel to the region of southeastern Turkey and northern Syria.

"Terrible news about the earthquake in Turkey and Syria. Our thoughts are with all the victims of this severe natural disaster,'' Rutte said in a tweet Monday. He said he had sent condolences to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says authorities are preparing to send aid and assistance to Turkey following the deadly earthquake there. He said Israel was readying to send search and rescue teams and medical aid, after a request from Turkey's government.

Meanwhile, from neighboring Egypt, where the quake was also felt, the head of the Arab League called on the international community to also aid the Syrian people in the aftermath of the quake.

Ahmed Aboul-Gheit, the secretary-general of the pan-Arab organization, wrote on Twitter that an international assistance is required to help those impacted by "this humanitarian catastrophe.''

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis wrote in a tweet``Greece is mobilizing its resources and will assist immediately ... (we are) deeply saddened by the devastating earthquake disaster,'' 

The European Union is sending rescue teams and preparing further help for Turkey after a 7.8-magnitude earthquake killed hundreds of people, the bloc's crisis management commissioner said Monday.

"Teams from the Netherlands and Romania are already on their way," with the EU's Emergency Response Coordination Centre overseeing their deployment, commissioner Janez Lenarcic tweeted.

The Egyptian Foreign Ministry, in a statement early Monday, offered help to both Turkey and Syria following the powerful earthquake.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz promised aid on Monday.

"We are following the news of the earthquake in the Turkish-Syrian border region with shock," Scholz said on Twitter. "Germany will of course send help."

French President Emmanuel Macron said Monday his country stood ready to provide emergency aid to Turkey and Syria.

"France is ready to provide emergency relief to the populations on the ground. Our thoughts are with the bereaved families," Macron tweeted.

The deadly quake was felt in the Egyptian capital of Cairo and across parts of the region.

White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan says he has told Turkish officials the United States is ready to provide assistance to help with the earthquake rescue effort. In a tweet, Sullivan said the U.S. was “profoundly concerned by today’s destructive earthquake” in Turkey and Syria.

“I have been in touch with Turkish officials to relay that we stand ready to provide any and all needed assistance. We will continue to closely monitor the situation in coordination with (Turkey),” Sullivan said.

The president of war-torn Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, has sent a message of support to Turkey to offer assistance.

``I am shocked to learn of deaths and injuries of hundreds of people as a result of the earthquake in Turkey,'' Zelenskyy wrote in a tweet.

``We send our condolences to the families of the victims and wish the injured a speedy recovery. At this time, we stand by the friendly Turkish people and are ready to provide the necessary assistance.''

Ukraine has close ties with Turkey, which helped negotiate a Black Sea grain agreement last summer to resume vital exports as the war in the country continues.

Meanwhile, Russia said it is readying rescue teams to fly to Turkey to help earthquake victims there and in neighboring Syria.

A minister of emergency situations, Aleksandr Kurenkov, said teams of 100 search and rescue personnel are on standby to be sent to Turkey with two Il-76 transport planes.

Russian President Vladimir Putin also offered condolences in telegrams to the leaders of Syria and Turkey and expressed readiness to help.

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