PM Garibashvili hails Georgian rescuers’ Turkey earthquake relief efforts

Georgian PM Irakli Garibashvili on Friday hailed the efforts of Georgian professionals who have been involved in relief operations in Turkey since February 6. Photo: Government press office, 24 Feb 2023 - 16:04, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili on Friday met Georgian rescuers engaged in relief operations in the aftermath of the earthquake that hit Turkey earlier this month and hailed their contribution to the efforts.

On his visit to the city of Antakya, in Turkey’s southern Hatay province that was worst-affected by the February 6 quake, the head of the Government called the rescuers “heroes” and thanked Georgia’s Interior Ministry and its Emergency Management Service for their coordination of the aid to the neighbouring country. 

He noted the Georgian rescuers’ saving of three survivors in the relief operations since the first day of the earthquake, while adding they had also “unfortunately found more than 80 killed” in the disaster.

Reiterating his condolences to the Turkish Government and the country’s citizens over the natural disaster that killed more than 43,000 in the country, Garibashvili emphasised he was “deeply convinced the Turkish people will overcome the ordeal and come out even stronger from it under a strong and wise leader like [President] Recep Tayyip Erdoğan”. 

Garibashvili and members of the Georgian Government delegation arrived in Antakya from Ankara, where he met Erdoğan on Thursday to discuss the aftermath of the earthquake, the “strategic cooperation” between the countries, matters of bilateral ties and security challenges.

Turkish officials welcomed the Georgian PM in Antakya-Hatay  airport. Video: Government press office. 

The PM was welcomed in the southern city by Fatih Dönmez, the Minister of Energy and Natural Resources of Turkey, Ahmet Gündüz, the Deputy Governor of Hatay province and Akif Çağatay Kılıç, the Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee of the Turkish Parliament.

While in the province, Garibashvili will also visit the local coordination centre for crisis situations and disaster management.