Çavuşoğlu thanks Israel for earthquake solidarity

Çavuşoğlu thanks Israel for earthquake solidarity

Çavuşoğlu thanks Israel for earthquake solidarity

Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu thanked Israel on Feb. 14 for its support to respond to the massive earthquake in southern Türkiye and said Israeli rescue teams were one of the largest in the region.

“One of the first countries to send support to Türkiye was Israel; search and rescue and medical teams came to our country immediately. They gave great support in Kahramanmaraş, they saved 19 people from the wreckage. Thank you for your solidarity in difficult times,” Çavuşoğlu said in a joint press conference with his Israeli counterpart Eli Cohen.

The Israeli minister has paid a visit to Ankara for solidarity after the devastating earthquake in Türkiye.

Israeli search and rescue, as well as medical teams, immediately arrived in Türkiye’s southern quake-hit regions and these teams were one of the “largest” on the ground, Çavuşoğlu said.

Israeli rescue staff have given “very serious support” to the efforts in the quake-hit region and pulled out 19 people from the rubble, he said.

Israeli minister, for his part, said his government and people convey their deepest condolences to the victims of the earthquake.

Stating that the two countries will respond to the disaster together, Cohen reminded that Türkiye rushed to help with the fire in Israel in 2012 and sent its firefighter aircraft in a show of solidarity.

Cohen stated that Israel supported Türkiye in the 1999 earthquake as well. “In this sense, we will continue to strengthen our relations in the coming days and months, and we will continue to develop our bilateral relations in different fields. We will try to respond to the needs of those affected by this earthquake disaster and this tragedy,” he added.

“The two nations are linked by a long historical bond of friendship and cooperation, and many Jews are proud to have come from Türkiye,” Cohen said.

Israel sent an initial rescue team of 450 staff even in the first day of Türkiye’s devastating earthquake last week, and established a field hospital in the quake-hit region, he said and pledged to continue to deliver humanitarian assistance.

Israel will resume direct flights to Türkiye as part of the normalization of bilateral relations, the Israeli minister also said.

“Flights from Israel to Türkiye will resume in two days. Three of our main carriers will start flights,” Cohen said.

“We will warm the important relations between your important and beautiful country and Israel,” he stated and pledged to increase tourism between the two countries this year. He promised to raise the number of Israelis from Türkiye visiting Israel to 1 million from 800,000 in 2023.

The two countries aim to increase the current 8 billion dollars bilateral trade volume, he said and added, “We will take these very important relations to the next level, we will restore relations between this extremely important and beautiful country, Israel, to its former level.”