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Libya envoy to Ankara thanks Turkiye for assistance during deadly floods

September 15, 2023 at 6:52 pm

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (R) poses for a photo with Libya’s Ambassador to Ankara, Mustafa Elgelaib (L) after receiving the letter of credence at Presidential Complex in Ankara, Turkey [Murat Kula/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images]

Libya’s Ambassador to Ankara, Mustafa Elgelaib, has thanked Turkiye and the Turkish people for their assistance following the tragic floods that struck his country, Anadolu Agency reports.

Speaking to Anadolu, Elgelaib recounted that the disaster was a result of excessive rainfall in the city of Derna, which led to the collapse of two dams in the region and resulted in significant loss of life.

The Ambassador emphasized that the Libyan Embassy promptly reached out to Turkish authorities, establishing a collaborative effort to facilitate aid delivery to Libya.

He further noted that people from around the world rallied to support Libya in the aftermath of the disaster, with Turkiye being among the first countries to dispatch aid to the affected region.

The Turkish government, people, humanitarian aid organisations, hospitals and universities were truly in solidarity with us. Additionally, Turkiye’s embassies and consulates were in solidarity with us. We appreciate and are proud of this

said Elgelaib.

READ: Floods in Libya’s Derna: Worst disaster in 21st century

“We are proud of the world’s solidarity with our country, Libya … I would like to take this opportunity to thank Turkiye and its people, especially President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the Ministers,” he added.

The Ambassador said that Turkish authorities were in contact with Libyan authorities from the first hours of the floods in Derna.

“We have historical, cultural, political, economic and brotherhood and friendship ties with the Turkish people. Therefore, we were not surprised by the support of the Turkish people. Turkiye has always done its part. We are happy about this. We hope to continue this relationship,” he said.

Stating that Libya was one of the first countries that came to Turkiye’s aid after the 6 February earthquakes in Kahramanmaras, Elgelaib said, “We are a people and an ummah. The role Turkiye plays in the region is very effective and exemplary. Hopefully, these relations will continue in good and bad times.”

“Turkish people showed great sympathy regarding the disaster in Libya. Their condolences were heartfelt. Numerous universities, charities and business people have offered help. Turkish people are saddened by the pain of their brothers. Libyans appreciate the Turkish people for this behaviour,” said Elgelaib.

Elgelaib further mentioned that they opened a condolence book at the Embassy due to the flood disaster, and many Turkish officials as well as diplomatic representatives from other countries in Ankara have signed the book to express their condolences.

At least 6,000 people were killed and thousands of others remain missing due to the weekend floods in eastern Libya, according to the latest official numbers.

Torrential rains from Storm Daniel swept several areas on Sunday in eastern Libya, most notably Benghazi, Al-Bayda, and Al-Marj, as well as Soussa and Derna.

READ: Red Cross warns of dangers posed by unexploded ordnances after floods in Libya’s Derna