Aliyev and Pashinyan respond to earthquake in Turkey and Syria, offer aid and support

The President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and the Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan have both issued statements of condolence and support following a devastating earthquake in southern Turkey and Syria early on Monday (6 February).

In letter addressed to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, President Aliyev of Azerbaijan said: "We are deeply saddened by the news of numerous casualties and destruction as a result of the strong earthquake that occurred in Kahramanmaras and was felt in many parts of brotherly Turkiye. We are ready to provide all kinds of assistance at this difficult moment."

The Daily Sabah reports that Azerbaijan has sent a team of 370 people to assist in rescue operations.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Pashinyan of Armenia tweeted, "Saddened by the news of the devastating earthquake in Türkiye & Syria that resulted in the loss of so many lives. Our deepest condolences to the families of the victims and we wish a speedy recovery to the injured." He added that "Armenia is ready to provide assistance."

Concurrent to the ongoing Armenia-Azerbaijan peace process, Armenia and Turkey have sought to gradually normalise ties over the past year despite persisting mistrust and a lack of confidence between the countries, and in this context Pashinyan's message is a notable sign of goodwill.

Armenia also has a history of devasting earthquakes, with its most infamous occurring in 1988 near Gyumri, killing tens of thousands of people and injuring many more.

source: with agencies
photo: Eren Bozkurt/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images