Blinken says he’s 'profoundly saddened' by earthquakes in Türkiye
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Sunday he is “profoundly saddened” by the devastation from the Feb. 6 earthquakes in southern Türkiye.
"Profoundly saddened to see firsthand the devastation of the earthquakes in Türkiye. The United States remains committed to doing everything we can to help with rescue, relief, and recovery efforts," Blinken, who visited the earthquake-hit region along with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, said on Twitter.
As part of his two-day visit to Türkiye, Blinken arrived at Incirlik Air Base in Adana province Sunday, where he was welcomed by the Turkish foreign minister.
Cavusoglu, for his part, said on Twitter: "Before our official meeting tomorrow, examined earthquake areas with Blinken, who is on solidarity visit to Türkiye."
On board a helicopter, the two men examined the earthquake-stricken region.
Blinken also announced Washington’s plan for an additional $100 million to provide lifesaving aid in Türkiye and Syria through the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration, the humanitarian bureau of the State Department, and the US Agency for International Development (USAID).
“The US will continue to stand with the Turkish and Syrian people,” he said.
“Deeply saddened but also inspired by the dedication of first responders, brave Turkish citizens, humanitarian workers, and the commitment of the United States and so many others to help the people of Türkiye in this time of need,” Blinken later said on Twitter.
He added that it was an “honor to meet the heroes of the USAID search and rescue and disaster assistance response teams” and thanked them for their critical work to help quake-hit Türkiye, “our NATO Ally.”
“Immediately after the earthquake hit, the United States, other countries jumped in. We had search and rescue teams here within a day – about 200 people, canines, other experts in trying to do search and rescue,” Blinken said in Adana.
“At the same time, we are working in very close collaboration with our Turkish colleagues, both to understand all of the needs and to find ways to deliver on them. This could not be done without the extraordinary work and collaboration of so many parts of the U.S. Government, but starting with the United States military, which, as always, has jumped in a remarkable way. Our colleagues have flown something like 150 sorties.”
The US has responded to the deadly twin quakes with $185 million in humanitarian assistance to date, Blinken said, adding that American businesses, communities, and individuals are also generously helping.