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UPDATE 2 - Europe extends solidarity to Turkey over massive forest fires

UPDATE 2 - Europe extends solidarity to Turkey over massive forest fires
EU delegation, Serbian, British, Hungarian, French, Bosnia, Kosovo officials express solidarity with Turkey, extend their condolences


By Gozde Bayar, Muhammet Tarhan and Shweta Desai, Talha Ozturk

ANKARA/PARIS (AA) - Officials from the EU, UK, Serbia, Hungary, and France on Friday extended condolences to Turkey over ongoing wildfires sweeping the country’s southern coastal regions.

"We are deeply saddened by the forest fires that occurred in different parts of Turkey. We offer our condolences to those who lost their loved ones and wish strength to the teams which fight against the fires. The European Union share Turkey’s sorrow," the EU delegation to Turkey said on Twitter.

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic on Friday and conveyed his condolences to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for the victims who died due to the fires.

Vucic expressed the readiness of Serbia to help in stopping the fire in part of Turkey, as well as in eliminating the consequences of the fire.

Serbian Foreign Minister Nikola Selakovic called his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu on Thursday night and conveyed his condolences according to diplomatic sources.

Bosnia and Herzegovina's Foreign Minister Bisera Turkovic also sent a message of condolence to Cavusoglu for those who lost their lives.

"We believe that Turkey will be able to cope with this disaster and will suffer as few casualties as possible. The people of Bosnia and Herzegovina are with you," said Turkovic in her message.

Kosovo's President Vjosa Osmani on social media also said her country stands in full solidarity with the people of Turkey.

"We wish a speedy recovery for the injured and we pray for everyone affected," said Osmani.

Dominick Chilcott, the British ambassador in the capital Ankara, said separately on Twitter that he was very saddened to hear about the forest fires that continue to spread in Turkey and the devastating effects of the flames.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with those affected by the fires and the emergency services teams who risk their lives to help those in need," Chilcott added.

Viktor Matis, Hungary's ambassador to Turkey, on Twitter wished the country a quick recovery, thanking those taking part in efforts to contain the fires.

The French foreign minister expressed solidarity with Turkey and offered support in dealing with the fires.

"Our hearts go out to the victims and their families and to the mobilized civil security forces. France stands at the disposal of the Turkish authorities to provide them with support," Jean-Yves Le Drian said on Twitter.

France also issued an advisory to its nationals present in or planning to go to these areas to exercise caution and comply with the instructions of Turkish authorities.

- 4 dead

Dozens of fires that broke out in at least 21 of Turkey's provinces, including several Mediterranean provinces, have been plaguing the country since Wednesday.

Three people lost their lives and 271 others were affected by the wildfires in Manavgat in the Mediterranean coastal province of Antalya, including one who was seriously injured, said the Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD).

In Mugla, on the coast of southern Aegean, one person was killed and 49 others injured in the forest fires.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the state was mobilizing all its means to bring the blazes under control.

source: News Feed
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