Turkey has offered to help Lebanon rebuild Beirut’s port, which was destroyed by a massive blast last week, the office of Turkey’s vice president said in a statement.
Turkey is ready to send more medical assistance and food aid to help Lebanon during its time of need, Vice President Fuat Oktay said during a visit to Lebanon on Saturday.
“We have witnessed that Turkey and the Turkish people have a special place in Lebanon. We issued a carte blanche to our Lebanese sisters and brothers. Turkey will remain here in Beirut until the affected area returns to normal,” he said.
Speaking after a meeting with Lebanese President Michel Aoun, Oktay said Ankara has told Lebanon that it can use Turkey’s Mersin port until the Beirut port is rebuilt.
The Turkish officials conveyed their condolences for the loss of life and property, and reiterated Ankara’s willingness to help out in all aspects.
“Our aid agency TIKA (Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency) and AFAD (Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency) came here immediately and brought around 400 tons of wheat to the Tripoli port in northern Lebanon to help with the food shortage. We also brought medicines and medical equipment,” Oktay said.
— AFAD (@AFADTurkiye) August 6, 2020
Oktay arrived with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, who both met with Lebanese Prime Minister Hassan Diab.
“I am sure that Turkey will do everything in its power to help Lebanon through this tough time,” Diab said.
Last Tuesday, Lebanon suffered massive blasts which could be heard as far away as Cyprus. More than 200 people were killed and 5,000 injured as a result of the explosions, which were caused by 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate which had been stored unsafely in Beirut’s port for six years, according to President Michel Aoun.