Disasters & Accidents

Top US diplomat travels to quake-stricken Turkey

Istanbul, Feb 19 (EFE).- US secretary of state Antony Blinken arrived in Turkey Sunday to visit areas struck by the devastating earthquakes that killed more than 46,000 people.

On his maiden trip to the country, Blinken met his counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu to show solidarity and send his condolences to those affected by the two earthquakes, which shook southern Turkey and northwestern Syria on February 6.

“Profoundly saddened to see firsthand the devastation of the earthquakes in Türkiye,” Blinken said on Twitter, along with two pictures showing him sitting next to Cavusoglu in a helicopter.

“The United States remains committed to doing everything we can to help with rescue, relief, and recovery efforts,” he wrote.

According to Anadolu news agency, Blinken visited Incirlik Air Base near Turkey’s southern province of Adana and flew over the province of Hatay, one of the hardest hit by Turkey’s deadliest quake since 1939. He is also expected to meet with US rescuers and members of the While Helmets defense organization, operative in rebel-held zones of war-ravaged Syria.

On Monday, Blinken will travel to Ankara to thank Cavusoglu for Turkey’s help in delivering humanitarian aid to quake-hit areas in Syria.

Blinken will then head to Greece to meet prime minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, foreign minister Nikos Dendias and opposition leader Alexis Tsipras in Athens.EFE


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