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Saudi Arabia leads condolences to quake-hit Morocco as international support pours in

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman led international condolences to Morocco on Saturday after a powerful earthquake hit southwest of tourist hotspot Marrakesh, which killed more than 800 people.
In a statement, the Saudi foreign ministry said the Kingdom voiced its solidarity with the people of Morocco, offering condolences to the families of the victims and wishing the injured a speedy recovery.
UAE President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed also wrote on X, formerly Twitter, “I extend my deepest condolences to my brother King Mohammed VI and the people of Morocco over the devastating earthquake that struck the country.”
He added, “We in the UAE stand with the Kingdom of Morocco during this difficult time and wish a speedy recovery ahead to all those affected.”

He also ordered an “air bridge to deliver critical relief” to the country, according to state news agency WAM.
Egypt and Palestine conveyed their condolences, reaffirming their “full solidarity” with the people of government of Morocco as they reel from the earthquake.

Offers of aid

Other Arab leaders have offered to provide aid to the North African nation.

Algeria, which broke off diplomatic relations with Morocco in August 2021 at the height of the crisis between the two countries, said it would open airspace for humanitarian and medical flights to and from Morocco.

In a statement, the Algerian foreign ministry said it was following “with great grief the consequences of the violent earthquake.”

“Algeria expresses its sincere condolences to the Moroccan people’s brothers in the earthquake victims,” the foreign ministry said.

Tunisian presidency said President Kais Saied had “authorized coordination with the Moroccan authorities to direct urgent aid and send civil protection teams to support the Kingdom’s search and rescue efforts.”

Saied also authorized “the facilitation of a delegation from the Tunisian Red Crescent to contribute to relief operations and surround the injured.”

King of Jordan Abdullah II urged his government to provide all kind of possible assistance to Morocco.

Offering his condolences to the Moroccan government and people, Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia Al-Sudani said his country was ready to provide all forms of assistance.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “instructed all government bodies and forces to provide any necessary assistance to the people of Morocco, including the preparations for sending an aid delegation to the area”, his office said.
It was the latest show of support in the wake of the 2020 Abraham Accords that saw Israel normalise ties with a number of Arab countries, including Morocco.

World leaders sent their well wishes to those affected by the earthquake, with some offering to help with the rescue efforts.

US President Joe Biden expressed his sympathy for the earthquake victims, adding the United States was “ready to provide any necessary assistance.”
“I am deeply saddened by the loss of life and devastation caused by the earthquake in Morocco,” he said in a statement. “Our thoughts and prayers are with all those impacted by this terrible hardship.”

French President Emmanuel Macron said Saturday offered to help relief efforts, saying he was “devastated” by the earthquake.
“We are all devastated after the terrible earthquake in Morocco,” Macron said on X, while onboard a flight to the G20 summit in India. “France stands ready to help with first aid.”

The UK vowed to help Morocco “in whatever way we can,” Foreign Minister James Cleverly said Saturday.
“We stand ready to help our Moroccan friends in whatever way we can,” he wrote on X.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak later tweeted that “my thoughts are with everyone affected by the terrible earthquake in Morocco last night.”

Similarly, Spain and Taiwan offered to send rescuers to Morocco.
“Spain has offered Morocco, if it deems it necessary, both its rescue capacities, which in these moments are the most important, as well as its rebuilding capacity once this moment has passed. What is important right now is to save the greatest number of lives possible,” Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Albares said Saturday at the G20 Summit.

Meanwhile, Spain’s acting prime minister Pedro Sanchez conveyed condolences and said his country “stands with the victims of this tragedy and their families.”

Taiwan’s fire department said it has put a team of 120 rescuers on standby to go to Morocco who can go the moment they get instructions from Taiwan’s foreign ministry.

Swiss President Alain Berset expressed his condolences. The country’s foreign ministry said it activated a crisis cell and is evaluating sending aid.

Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni said she “learned with grief of the tragic toll” from the quake and pointed to “Italy’s willingness to support Morocco in this emergency.”
The Turkish Foreign Ministry said Ankara was ready to provide all kinds of support “to heal the wounds of the earthquake in Morocco.”

In a separate statement, Turkiye’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan offered his condolences to the families of those who lost their lives and wished speedy recovery to the injured.

“We stand by our Moroccan brothers with all our means in this hard day,” Erdogan wrote on X.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen expressed sympathy “with the Moroccan people in the face of the terrible earthquake,” while top EU diplomat Josep Borrell said the bloc is ready to provide Morocco “the assistance it wishes.”

World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus described the quake as “heartbreaking,” adding: “We stand ready to support the immediate health needs.”
Jagan Chapagain, the head of the International Federation for Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) posted on X that “teams from (the Moroccan Red Crescent) responded immediately supporting the affected people.”
“My thoughts are with everyone impacted by this disaster. IFRC is ready to support,” he wrote.

Chinese President Xi Jinping sent a “message of condolence” to Morocco Saturday, joining a chorus of international support for the North African country in the wake of the devastating earthquake.
“On September 9, President Xi Jinping sent a message of condolence to King Mohammed VI of Morocco over the severe earthquake in Morocco,” official broadcaster CCTV said.

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who received world leaders on Saturday for the G20 summit in New Delhi, said his country is ready to provide “all possible assistance to Morocco in this difficult time.”
“Extremely pained by the loss of lives due to an earthquake in Morocco. In this tragic hour, my thoughts are with the people of Morocco. Condolences to those who have lost their loved ones. May the injured recover at the earliest,” he wrote on X.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, who is attending the G20 summit in India, wrote on X, “At this difficult time, our thoughts are with the victims of this devastating earthquake. Our sympathy goes out to all those affected by this natural disaster.”

In a message to Morocco’s King Mohammed VI, Russian president Vladimir Putin conveyed his condolences and voiced solidarity with the people affected.

“Russia shares the worry and sorrow of the friendly people of Morocco. Please convey words of sympathy and support to the families and friends of the victims, as well as wishes for a speedy recovery to all those who have suffered as a result of this natural disaster.”

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky conveyed his “deepest condolences” to King Mohammed VI and the people of Morocco “for the lives lost in the horrible earthquake.”

“I wish those injured a fast recovery. Ukraine stands in solidarity with Morocco during this tragic time.”

The secretary-general of the Jeddah-based Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, Hissein Brahim Taha, prayed for “mercy on the victims and a speedy recovery for the injured.”
The head of the African Union Commission on Saturday expressed “great pain” over the earthquake.
“I learnt with great sadness of the tragic consequences of the earthquake that hit the kingdom of Morocco,” Moussa Faki Mahamat said, expressing his “sincere condolences” to the king, the Moroccan people and the families of the victims.

With Agencies

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