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Turkish ministerial team arrives flood-stricken Pakistan to show solidarity with nation

Turkish ministerial team arrives flood-stricken Pakistan to show solidarity with nation

- Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu-led delegation meets with Premier Sharif and conveys President Erdogan's condolences for loss of precious lives

By Islamuddin Sajid


ISLAMABAD (AA) - A Turkish ministerial team arrived in Pakistan on Friday morning to express solidarity and support for the South Asian country, which has been devastated by torrential rains and subsequent floods, killing over 1,200 people and damaging massive swaths of agricultural lands and millions of homes.


After arriving in Islamabad, the delegation led by Minister for Interior Suleyman Soylu met with Pakistan's Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and conveyed President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's heartfelt condolences for the loss of precious lives and destruction of valuable property during the recent monsoon flash floods.


Turkish Minister for Environment, Urbanisation and Climate Change, Murat Kurum, the chairman of the Turkish Disaster and Emergency Management (AFAD), the director general for the Turkish Low-Cost Housing Agency (TOKI) and other officials are part of the delegation.


During the meeting, Prime Minister Sharif expressed his sincere gratitude to President Erdogan for his phone call offering sympathy and condolences for the human and material losses caused by the floods, according to an official statement issued by the Prime Minister's office.


In the immediate aftermath of President Erdogan's phone call, Türkiye delivered humanitarian relief assistance to Pakistan in the form of tents, food items, medicines, and emergency relief products for flood victims, the statement said.


So far 11 Turkish military aircraft and two “Goodness Trains” have been dispatched.


Sharif also recalled Türkiye’s steadfast support and assistance to Pakistan after the 2005 earthquake and 2010 floods, describing the two countries as "two hearts, one soul" that have always supported one other in difficult times.


He stated that the destructive floods have put the country's food security at risk by destroying crops on millions of hectares of land.


During the restoration and rehabilitation phase, the country is looking forward to Türkiye's help in overcoming the challenges caused by massive infrastructure devastation, loss of livelihoods, food shortages, and socioeconomic insecurity, he noted.


Since mid-June, over 1,200 people have died and over 6,000 have been injured in the ongoing flood.


Turkish Interior Minister Soylu, talking about Ankara's response to the disaster, stated that Türkiye immediately built air and land bridges and brotherhood to deliver relief assistance to flood victims.


"During the Friday prayers, the people in Türkiye will pray for their brothers and sisters in Pakistan and mobilize further support," he informed the Pakistani premier.


The Turkish minister added that in line with President Erdogan's directives, Türkiye's relevant institutions and organizations dealing with natural catastrophes are ready to provide expanded assistance in accordance with Pakistan's requirements.


The Turkish delegation is also scheduled to undertake an aerial on-site visit of flood-affected areas.

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