US State Secretary travels to Germany, Turkey

Washington, Feb 15 (EFE) .- United States State Secretary Antony Blinken will travel Thursday to Germany to attend the Munich security conference and then to Turkey, where he will meet with officials from the country.

Along with Vice President Kamala Harris, the diplomat will focus support for Ukraine as a priority during the conference in Munich, where world leaders and authorities on defense and security issues meet annually, the State Department said in a statement.

Blinken will meet with representatives from France, Germany and the United Kingdom, Deputy State Secretary Karen Donfried said in a press conference, adding that also in Germany, the diplomat will participate in a meeting of the G7.

Blinken will fly Sunday to Turkey, where he will visit the Incirlik air base in the south of the country, where the US has sent support personnel and at least one military aircraft to assist in recovery after the earthquakes that struck the country on Feb. 6.

The US diplomat will then travel to Ankara, where he will meet Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and other Turkish government officials “to discuss support for Turkey after the earthquakes (…) and how to strengthen the alliance” between the two governments.

Blinken is not planning to meet Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Donfried told reporters.

The trip to Turkey will come days after Blinken asked the United Nations to demand that the Syrian government fulfill its commitment to open two border crossings with Turkey for the entry of humanitarian aid.

The government of Syrian President Bashar al Asad authorized Monday the use of the Bab al Salam and Al Rai crossings, both on the Turkish divide, to deliver UN aid for three months to opposition areas in the northwest of the country, surrounded by territory in the hands of rival actors and difficult to access.

The earthquakes in Turkey and Syria, of magnitude 7.7 and 7.6, respectively, have killed more than 35,000 in both countries, a figure expected to rise. EFE


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