EU seeks cooperation with Turkey in relief

EU seeks cooperation with Turkey in relief

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
EU seeks cooperation with Turkey in relief

EU Commissioner Georgieva says Turkey and EU can reach more people. AA photo

The European Union wishes to have closer cooperation and coordination with Turkey in humanitarian aid operations across the world, the EU’s commissioner for international cooperation, humanitarian aid and crisis response said during a visit to Ankara yesterday.

“Turkey is a country that is increasing its generous humanitarian aid efforts. Turkey and the European Union can therefore extend significant help to regions hit by natural disasters. We can reach more people through coordination and cooperation.

For example, 75 percent of the humanitarian aid in Somalia has been provided by us,” Commissioner Kristalina Georgieva told Anatolia news agency. Turkey’s efforts in Somalia were “very impressive,” she said. As a candidate for EU membership, Turkey could join the EU’s Community Civil Protection Mechanism, which aims to enhance co-operation in emergency situations, and could take part in joint disaster response exercises even if does not join the body, she said.

Georgieva yesterday met with EU Minister Egemen Bağış and Deputy Prime Minister Beşir Atalay for talks on humanitarian aid and cooperation. The commissioner and Bağış were scheduled to travel to Van today to visit victims of last year’s earthquake who have been accommodated in housing containers provided by the EU. “The assistance offered by the European Union following the earthquake in Van shows that Turkey is a member of the European family, and that we value you,” Georgieva said, adding the EU’s aid amounted to 4 million euros.