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Erdogan conveys Turkey’s support for Italy and Spain amid COVID-19 crisis

Military personnel carry medical supplies unloaded from Turkish Armed Forces' military aircraft after it lands at Torrejon de Ardoz military air base on April 1, 2020 in Madrid, Spain, one of the countries in Europe worst hit by the novel coronavirus. [Burak Akbulut - Anadolu Agency]
Military personnel carry medical supplies unloaded from Turkish Armed Forces' military aircraft after it lands at Torrejon de Ardoz military air base on April 1, 2020 in Madrid, Spain, one of the countries in Europe worst hit by the novel coronavirus. [Burak Akbulut - Anadolu Agency]

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has expressed his country’s support for Italy and Spain during the difficult period that the two countries are enduring due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Erdogan sent two letters to Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte and Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, regarding the medical aid that his country sent, while reiterating Turkey’s support for both countries, according to a statement issued by the Turkish Presidential Directorate of Communications on Thursday.

“Mr Prime Minister, my dear friend, we are going through a difficult period that the whole world is living, and unfortunately many people have died,” Erdogan iterated in his correspondence to Conte.

He continued: “Our ally Italy, we shared your grief on the day you declared national mourning, and we hope that Italy’s grievances come to an end. I offer my condolences in the name of my people and my country to the Italian people, especially to the relatives of those who lost their lives due to the coronavirus pandemic.”

Erdogan referred to the plane carrying medical aid, which was sent to Italy via the Turkish Red Crescent in response to the call of the Euro-Atlantic Disaster Response Coordination Centre (EADRCC).

In his message to the Spanish prime minister, Erdogan affirmed that Turkey is standing by Spain, expressing his hope that the Spanish government manage to contain of the pandemic as soon as possible.

Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio (C), Italian Air Force Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Enzo Vecciarelli (2nd L) and Turkish Ambassador to Rome Murat Salim Esenli (3rd L) wait in the airbase as a Turkish military aircraft carrying medical aid arrives at Pratica di Mare Air Base on April 1, 2020 in Rome, Italy, one of the countries in Europe most affected by the novel coronavirus. Turkey sends medical aid to Italy and Spain to support the fight against coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. ( Barış Seçkin - Anadolu Agency )

Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio (C), Italian Air Force Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Enzo Vecciarelli (2nd L) and Turkish Ambassador to Rome Murat Salim Esenli (3rd L) wait in the airbase as a Turkish military aircraft carrying medical aid arrives at Pratica di Mare Air Base on April 1, 2020 in Rome, Italy, one of the countries in Europe most affected by the novel coronavirus. Turkey sends medical aid to Italy and Spain to support the fight against coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. ( Barış Seçkin – Anadolu Agency )

“Mr Prime Minister, my dear friend, we know that our ally Spain is among the countries most affected by the pandemic, and I offer my condolences in the name of my people and my country to the Spanish people, especially to the relatives of those who lost their lives due to the coronavirus,” expressed Erdogan .

He added that Turkey appreciates the efforts of the Spanish government in combating the pandemic since the early stages of its spread, and hopes that the Spanish people will survive this crisis at the earliest time and with minimal losses.

Erdogan conveyed hope for the return of peace, stability and prosperity in Spain, while aspiring that the Spanish state will continue to take steps to enhance bilateral cooperation between the two countries.

On Wednesday, Turkey sent medical aid to Spain and Italy, as both countries are experiencing the most devastating damage from the COVID-19 pandemic, and became hotspots of the virus in Europe.

The medical aid sent by the Turkish authorities included thousands of medical supplies such as masks, protective uniforms and antibacterial disinfectants produced by the factories of the Turkish Ministry of Defence and the Machinery and Chemical Industry Institution.

As of Thursday noon, the number of people infected with the coronavirus has exceeded 950,000 cases worldwide, more than 48,000 of whom have died, while more than 202,000 have recovered, according to the Worldometers website.

READ: Turkish firms racing to deliver 5,000 ventilators for coronavirus patients

Categories
CoronavirusEurope & RussiaItalyNewsSpainTurkey
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