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Turkey-Armenia border gate reopens after 30 years for quake aid

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan

Ankara, Turkey | Xinhua | A border gate between Turkey and Armenia has been opened for the first time in 30 years for the passage of humanitarian assistance for victims of the devastating earthquakes hitting southern Turkey, the state-run Anadolu News Agency reported Saturday.

An Armenian delegation with five trucks of aid has entered Turkey through the Alican Border Gate in the eastern province of Igdir, the report said.

The Armenian aid delegation carrying 100 tonnes of food, medicine, and drinking water passed through the gate in the morning toward the southeastern province of Adiyaman, according to a tweet on Saturday by Serdar Kilic, Turkey’s special representative for normalization talks with Armenia.

On Tuesday, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan offered condolences and support to the Turkish people in a phone conversation with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Armenia has sent 27 rescuers to quake-hit Turkey to assist in the search-and-rescue operations, the country’s internal affairs ministry said Wednesday.

The Alican Border Gate was last used in the 1988 earthquake in Armenia when the Turkish Red Crescent crossed the border gate to dispatch aid to disaster areas.

Turkey severed diplomatic relations and closed the border with Armenia in 1993 in support of Azerbaijan which was fighting a war with Armenia over the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh, before the two neighbors launched talks for the re-normalization of relations in 2022.

On Monday, two devastating earthquakes measuring 7.7- and 7.6-magnitude hit 10 provinces in southern Türkiye, killing at least 21,848 so far and injuring over 80,000, according to the latest figures.


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