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PM visiting Turkey to express solidarity with quake-hit nation

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  • PM visiting Turkey to express sorrow over deaths.
  • Turkish ambassador bid farewell to PM.
  • No country alone can deal with such huge devastation, says PM.

LAHORE: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Thursday reached Turkey to express solidarity and support with the Turkish people as they reel from the massive earthquake that has killed more than 36,000 people.

Turkish ambassador Mehmet Pacaci bid adieu to the premier as he departed from the Lahore Airport and he was welcomed by the Turkish officials at Ankara Esenboğa Airport.

Before departure, PM Shehbaz in a tweet said, “I am leaving for Turkiye with a message of unwavering solidarity and support for our Turkish brothers and sisters from the people and government of Pakistan.”

“True to the spirit of one nation living in two states, we consider their loss as ours,” he said.

During his two-day stay in Ankara, the prime minister will meet President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan to personally convey heartfelt condolences on behalf of the entire Pakistani nation over the loss of lives and the widespread damage.

In another tweet, the premier while expressing his grief over the massive losses noted that no matter how resourceful the country is, it cannot fight such devastation without any help. 

He stated: “Natural disasters as the earthquake in [Turkey and] Syria are beyond the capacity of any single government to handle. No country, howsoever resourceful, can deal with devastation of this magnitude. It is time the world came forward [and] extended support to the suffering humanity.”

The prime minister will reiterate Pakistan’s firm commitment to stand by the Turkish people during difficult times and to continue extending all possible support to the ongoing relief effort.

The prime minister will also visit earthquake-affected areas in southern Turkey, and interact with the Pakistani search and rescue teams deployed in the area as well as survivors of the earthquake.

In the wake of the devastating earthquake in southern Turkey, the prime minister had spoken with President Erdogan on February 6 and assured him of all possible assistance for the rescue and relief effort.

All available resources have been fully mobilised to help the Turkish people and the prime minister is personally overseeing the relief effort.

Pakistan and Turkiye enjoy deep fraternal ties. The two countries have resolutely stood by each other during every trial and tribulation.

It should be noted on February 7, Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb had announced that Shehbaz Shehbaz will be travelling to Turkey to condole President Erdogan on the devastating earthquake that hit the country.

Taking to Twitter, the minister wrote: “Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif will leave for Ankara tomorrow morning, he will express his condolences to the Turkish president and to the people of Turkey over the destruction caused by the earthquake and the loss of life.”

However, the trip was cancelled back then.

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