By Burak Bir
LONDON (AA) - The European Union will host an international donors' conference Monday to support the victims of last month’s devastating earthquakes in Türkiye and Syria.
Co-hosted by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and Swedish Prime Minister of Sweden Ulf Kristersson for the Swedish Presidency of the Council, the conference will be organized in coordination with Turkish authorities.
According to a statement by the UN, the conference will be open to EU members, candidate countries and potential candidates, neighboring and partner countries, G-20 members – except for Russia – member states of the Gulf Cooperation, as well as the UN, international organizations, humanitarian actors and international and European financial institutions.
"Six weeks after the devastating earthquakes in Türkiye and Syria, we come together to support the survivors of this tragedy," the statement quoted von der Leyen as saying
She said that their solidarity will continue to "be as strong as it was" in the first moments after the deadly earthquakes.
"As President of the Council of the European Union, Sweden will do everything in our power, together with the EU and international partners, to help those affected in the next phases of the rehabilitation and early recovery," stated Ulf Kristersson.
Türkiye's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will virtually address the opening session of the event and Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu will attend the conference in person.
On Feb. 6, magnitude 7.7 and 7.6 quakes struck 11 provinces — Adana, Adiyaman, Diyarbakir, Elazig, Hatay, Gaziantep, Kahramanmaras, Kilis, Malatya, Osmaniye and Sanliurfa.
On Saturday, Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay said that the death toll from the quakes rose to 49,589.
More than 13.5 million people in Türkiye have been affected by the devastating quakes, as well as many others in northern Syria.