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EU will mobilise int'l community to support Turkiye, Syria

February 23, 2023 at 11:17 am

European Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement from Hungary Oliver Varhelyi speaks during the EU-Turkiye High Level Business Dialogue meeting in Istanbul, Turkiye on October 26, 2022 [Mehmet Eser/Anadolu Agency]

The European Union Commissioner for Neighborhood Affairs and Enlargement, Oliver Varhely, said the bloc is determined to mobilise the international community to provide support to Turkiye and Syria during a donor conference on 16 March, Anadolu news agency reported.

This came during a joint press conference held yesterday in Ankara with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and Swedish Minister of International Cooperation and Foreign Trade Johan Forssell.

Varhely explained that the United Nations, international financial organisations and NGOs provide support in many areas, adding that they will work to remove the short-term and long-term negative effects of the earthquakes that struck Turkiye and caused the loss of 46,000 lives and widespread destruction.

According to the European official, 21 EU countries have sent search and rescue teams and “more than 1,750 people with 111 dogs played an important role in saving lives in the first 72 hours.”

READ: Turkiye thanks international community for support, solidarity in wake of deadly quakes

He pointed out that the European Union has decided to organise an international donor conference to provide global support to Turkiye, adding that efforts are made to raise awareness about the extent of the damage caused by the earthquake, noting that “there is very great damage”.

He explained that the EU Commission is ready to provide support, including building new homes and schools, hospitals, care centres and nurseries.

On 6 February, two successive earthquakes of magnitude 7.8 and 7.6 hit southern Turkiye and northern Syria, killing tens of thousands of people and causing major destruction to property in both countries.