China's Foreign Minister sends condolences to Turkish counterpart over deadly earthquakes

Lin Congyi
2023-02-08 10:35:39

Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang on Monday sent messages of condolences to Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu over deadly earthquakes that hit the country on the day, according to the Chinese embassy in Türkiye.

Qin said he was saddened to hear that the earthquakes have caused heavy casualties and property losses. He extended condolences over the deceased and expressed sincere sympathy to the bereaved families and the injured.

Qin also said he believes that under the leadership of the Turkish government, people of Türkiye will surely overcome the disaster and resume normal production and life.

Meanwhile, the ministry's spokesperson Mao Ning said on Tuesday that China is closely following the situation surrounding the devastating earthquakes in Türkiye and Syria.

Mao said that after the earthquakes, Chinese embassies and consulates in relevant countries quickly launched emergency response mechanisms to verify the situation of Chinese citizens affected by the disaster. "So far, no Chinese casualties have been reported," she noted.

She also reminded fellow Chinese compatriots in Türkiye and Syria to guard against post-earthquake secondary disasters.

More than 4,000 people were killed and tens of thousands injured after strong earthquakes jolted parts of Türkiye and neighboring Syria on Monday. A magnitude-7.8 earthquake struck southern Turkish province of Kahramanmaras at 4:17 a.m. local time, followed by a magnitude-6.4 quake a few minutes later in its southern province of Gaziantep and a magnitude-7.6 earthquake at 1:24 p.m. local time in Kahramanmaras.

Noting both Türkiye and Syria are China's friendly countries, Mao said that China will do its best to give a helping hand.

China International Development Cooperation Agency (CIDCA) on Tuesday announced emergency assistance for Türkiye and Syria with a first batch worth 40 million yuan ($5.9 million), including assistance through rescue and medical teams as well as provision of urgently needed relief materials.

The Red Cross Society of China (RCSC) has also provided the Turkish Red Crescent and the Syrian Red Crescent with $200,000 in cash respectively as emergency humanitarian assistance and the first Chinese rescue team has departed to join the relief efforts in Türkiye this morning, according to the CIDCA.

The Chinese government will continue to provide help to Türkiye and Syria according to their needs, said Mao.

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