Morocco earthquake: World leaders express condolences and offer support

The 6.8-magnitude earthquake that hit late on Friday killed over a 1,000 people and injured hundred others, including many in critical condition


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Photo: AFP File
Photo: AFP File

Published: Sat 9 Sep 2023, 6:10 PM

Last updated: Mon 11 Sep 2023, 7:54 AM

Leaders and diplomats the world over expressed condolences and support on Saturday for Morocco after a devastating earthquake struck near tourist hotspot Marrakesh.

The 6.8-magnitude earthquake that hit late on Friday killed over a 1,000 people and injured hundred others, including many in critical condition, according to Moroccan authorities.

Support poured in from leaders across the world, including:

The Pope expressed his "profound solidarity" with Morocco after the quake, according to the Vatican.

Photo: AFP File
Photo: AFP File

French President Emmanuel Macron meanwhile said he was "devastated" by news of the quake, adding that "France stands ready to help with first aid".

Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, of Morocco's cross-strait neighbour Spain, expressed his "solidarity and support to the people of Morocco in the wake of this terrible earthquake... Spain is with the victims of this tragedy".

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said "our thoughts are with the victims of this devastating earthquake. Our sympathy goes out to all those affected".

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".

Photo: Reuters
Photo: Reuters

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".

European Council President Charles Michel wrote on X, formerly Twitter, "that EU stands ready to support Morocco in these difficult moments".

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

The leaders of both Russia and Ukraine also offered their sympathies.

Photo: AFP File
Photo: AFP File

Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky expressed his "deepest condolences to HM King Mohammed VI and all Moroccans for the lives lost in the horrible earthquake".

"Ukraine stands in solidarity with Morocco during this tragic time," he said on social media.

Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed similar sentiments and said, in a message to Morocco's king, "we share the pain and the mourning of the friendly Moroccan people".

Photo: PTI
Photo: PTI

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is hosting the G20 summit this weekend, said he was "extremely pained by the loss of lives due to an earthquake in Morocco".

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan offered support to "our Moroccan brothers in every way in this difficult hour".

Algeria, which broke off diplomatic relations with Morocco in August 2021 at the height of the crisis between the two countries, offered "its sincere condolences to the brotherly Moroccan people for the victims of the earthquake", according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

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 is 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.

Iran expressed its condolences for the "terrible earthquake", in a statement published on the foreign ministry's website.

Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani said he was "ready to provide any form of assistance to deal with the repercussions of the devastating earthquake".

Photo: AP File
Photo: AP File

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

The head of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, said he "learnt with great sadness of the tragic consequences of the earthquake that hit the kingdom of Morocco", expressing his "sincere condolences" to the king, the Moroccan people and the families of the victims.

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".

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.


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