From UAE to Turkey: World leaders offer solidarity, aid after devastating Morocco quake

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies said the response to the devastating quake could take years

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Photo: AFP
Photo: AFP


Published: Sun 10 Sep 2023, 8:08 AM

Leaders and diplomats the world over expressed condolences and offered their support for Morocco Saturday after a devastating earthquake struck the mountains southwest of Marrakesh.

The earthquake that hit late Friday killed more than 2,000 people and injured more than 2,000 more, many of them critically, according to Moroccan authorities.

Support has poured in from leaders across the world.


In the UAE, President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan earlier directed the establishment of an air bridge to deliver critical relief supplies and other forms of support to those affected by the earthquake.

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai directed Dubai Police to provide assistance in the nation. The Ruler of Dubai asked the rescue and ambulance teams to quickly provide assistance to the teams in Morocco to help rescue survivors.

The Emirates Red Crescent began implementing a relief programme by providing sizeable quantities of essential supplies, including  tents, blankets, food, medical stuff and hygiene kits. The ERC's Emergency Room is working to assess the humanitarian conditions in the affected areas, considering the urgent needs of the people, affected by the disaster.

Other countries

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".

French President Emmanuel Macron said he was "devastated" and said that "France stands ready to help with first aid".

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

Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni said she "learned with grief of the tragic toll" from the quake, stressing "Italy's willingness to support Morocco in this emergency".

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 was ready to provide Morocco "the assistance it wishes".

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".

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", said its foreign ministry.

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.

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant held a phone call with his Moroccan counterpart to express Israel’s desire to assist the earthquake-stricken country “as much as is required.” Gallant ordered the Israeli military to prepare to provide Morocco with humanitarian aid.

Iran expressed its condolences for the "terrible earthquake".

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

Nigerian President Bola Tinubu extended his heartfelt condolences to King Mohammed VI of Morocco: "In the face of this adversity, Nigeria will continue to stand in solidarity with Morocco as they recover, rebuild and come out stronger than ever from this unfortunate event."

The head of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, expressed 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."

UN humanitarian chief Martin Griffiths said he was "deeply saddened by news of the quake, saying "our thoughts are with the thousands of families affected. We stand ready to support."

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) said the response to the devastating quake could take years.

(With inputs from AP)


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