In rare visit, Egyptian FM voices solidarity with quake-hit Türkiye

Türkiye Materials 28 February 2023 05:58 (UTC +04:00)

Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry visited Türkiye on Monday to show solidarity after two massive earthquakes jolted southern Türkiye, his first visit after a decade of tense relations, Trend reports citing Daily Sabah.

Egypt’s Foreign Ministry said the trip aims to show “solidarity with the two countries and their brotherly peoples” after the devastating earthquake that hit Syria and Türkiye earlier this month.

The 7.7 and 7.6 magnitude quakes on Feb. 6 killed more than 46,000 people in both countries.

“I’d like to thank Egypt for the support they extended to us within such a short time,” Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavushoglu said at a joint press conference with Shoukry in front of an Egyptian vessel carrying aid at the Port of Mersin in the eponymous Turkish Mediterranean province. He said Egypt sent at least 520 tons of humanitarian assistance to Türkiye in addition to early deliveries in the immediate aftermath of the catastrophe. “Friendship and brotherhood can be seen in challenging times. The Egyptian people showed that they are the brothers and sisters of Türkiye once again in those challenging times,” the minister added.

“As you know, we are opening new pages in our relations with Egypt. In Doha, President (Recep Tayyip) Erdogan met (Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi). The meeting was very beneficial. A short while ago, in our meeting at the airport, we discussed which steps we can take to improve our relations. Improving relations between Türkiye and Egypt will benefit both sides, not only for the two countries but also for the stability and economic development of the region. As we said during our cold relations, Egypt is important for the region, Palestinians, the Arab world, and Africa as long as Egypt is strong. I certainly believe we can improve our relations. We will continue working together to improve our relations even further. The fact that my brother Sameh Shoukry is here today in Türkiye is important and meaningful for us,” he said.

For his part, Shoukry said: “I want to express gratitude for the warm welcome here. I have a message of solidarity and support to the friendly Turkish people on behalf of the government, leadership and Egyptian people. This catastrophe broke our hearts, and we are working in our full capacity to support our brothers and sisters in Türkiye, to overcome this catastrophe. Aid supplies that Egypt sent were the least Egypt could do to mitigate the suffering of people who were hit by the catastrophe. We prioritized ships through the Suez Canal (carrying aid to Türkiye),” he said.

Egypt has provided more than 1,200 tons of aid material since the earthquakes. In addition, Egypt’s trade ship Al Hurreya arrived Monday morning at the Port of Mersin with 525 tons of additional aid, including tents, blankets, mobile toilets, beds and hygiene products.

Condolences have poured in from around the world expressing solidarity with Türkiye, with many countries sending rescue teams and aid, including Egypt.