Sunday June 04, 2023

PM Shehbaz paying two-day solidarity visit to quake-hit Turkey

PM Shehbaz "expresses his condolences over the loss of life and infrastructure" during a meeting with Turkish President Erdoğan

By Web Desk
February 16, 2023
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif photographed with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan upon the formers arrival at Turkish Presidency in Ankara. — Twitter/@GovtofPakistan
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif photographed with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan upon the former's arrival at Turkish Presidency in Ankara. — Twitter/@GovtofPakistan

In a special gesture of solidarity and support, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif is paying a two-day visit to Turkey to express his condolences over the loss of lives and devastation in the quake-hit country.

The premier, who is on a two-day trip, was welcomed by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the presidency in Ankara.

At the presidential palace, the premier "expressed his condolences over the loss of life and infrastructure as a result of the historic earthquake in Türkiye," a statement by the official Twitter account of the government stated.  

Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurangzeb, Special Assistant to the PM Tariq Fatemi and National Disaster Management Authority Chairman Lt Gen Inam Haider accompanied the prime minister.

Taking to his Twitter, PM Shehbaz said that during his meeting with President Erdogan, he assured him of Pakistan's "steadfast support to Turkey."

Turkish ambassador to Pakistan Mehmet Pacaci bid adieu to the premier as he departed from the Lahore Airport for the quake-hit country, where he was welcomed by Turkish officials at Ankara Esenboğa Airport.

Before his departure, PM Shehbaz took to Twitter to share his condolences: "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 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 expressed his grief over the massive losses and noted that no matter how resourceful the country was, it could not fight such devastation without any help.

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

During his visit to Turkey, 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.

He 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 Turkish prime minister is personally overseeing the relief effort.

Pakistan and Turkey 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 would be travelling to Turkey to condole President Erdogan on the devastating earthquake that hit the country.

However, the trip was postponed.