(Reuters) -Following are offers of aid and other reaction from foreign governments to the powerful earthquake that struck Morocco late on Friday, killing more than 1,000 and destroying buildings in the deadliest tremor to hit the country in decades.
****OFFERS OF FOREIGN AID AND SUPPORT
Algeria, which broke off ties with Morocco two years ago, said it would open its air space for humanitarian and medical flights to Morocco. In a statement, Algeria’s presidency said it was ready to provide humanitarian aid and offer all its material and human capabilities in solidarity with the Moroccan people, if Morocco requests such help.
The Turkish Foreign Ministry said Ankara was ready to provide all kinds of support “to heal the wounds of the earthquake in Morocco”.
Turkey’s AFAD disaster management authority said 265 aid workers from AFAD, Turkish Red Crescent and other Turkish NGOs were ready to travel to the earthquake region in case Morocco calls for international assistance. It also said that Turkey was ready to deliver 1,000 tents to the affected areas.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, speaking at a G20 summit in New Delhi, said the quake “has moved and worried many people here. We are all in the process of organizing support. Germany has also already mobilized its technical relief agency and we will do the best we can to help those who can be helped”.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement, “I express my deep sadness at the loss of life and destruction caused by yesterday’s earthquake in Morocco and extend my heartfelt condolences to the families of those affected. The United States is ready to provide any necessary assistance as Morocco responds to this tragedy.”
“France … is ready to provide immediately its help for the rescue and assistance to the populations affected by this tragedy,” the French Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
Valerie Pecresse, president of the Paris region, said on X it was offering 500,000 euros ($535,000)in aid for Morocco.
Benoit Payan, the mayor of Marseille, said firemen will be sent to help rescue crews in Morocco, adding that Marrakech is Marseille’s “sister city”. The regions of Occitanie, Corsica and Provence-Alpes-Cote d’Azur jointly pledged 1 million euros in humanitarian aid for Morocco.
Telecoms group Orange said in a statement that from 8 p.m. (1800 GMT) on Saturday it would implement for its mobile clients free fixed and mobile calls as well as free SMS to Morocco, until Sept. 16. Its units in Belgium, Poland, Romania and Slovakia have also announced free communications to Morocco for a week.
“The Spain military emergency unit and our embassy and consulates are at the disposal of Morocco,” Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Albares said at the G20 meeting in New Delhi.
Antonio Nogales, president of Spain’s Firefighters Without Frontiers, told RTVE Spanish television: “We are in contact with the Moroccan authorities and we are ready to go and help.” The organization was involved in helping find survivors of the earthquake in Turkey in February.
Foreign Minister Eli Cohen said “Israel is extending its hand to Morocco in this difficult time that it is experiencing,” according to the ministry’s post on X, originally in Arabic.
Israel’s Magen David Adom national medical and disaster emergency service said its head contacted the president of Moroccan Red Crescent with an offer of help.
“Representatives from Magen David Adom are gearing up to depart within the next few hours,” it said in a statement. “They will be joining hands with delegations from the Ministry of Health and the Israel Defense Forces.”
The 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. He also authorized the facilitation of a delegation from the Tunisian Red Crescent to contribute to relief operations and surround the injured.”
Kuwait’s Emir Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah directed the government to provide all necessary relief supplies for Morocco, the state news agency (KUNA) said.
Prime Minister Marcel Ciolacu said “the Romanian authorities are in close contact with the Moroccan authorities and ready to offer assistance”.
Taiwan’s fire department said it had 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.
**** SOME OTHER QUOTES FROM FOREIGN LEADERS
INDIAN PRIME MINISTER NARENDRA MODI, INAUGURATING A G20 SUMMIT IN NEW DELHI
“We pray that all the injured people get well soon. The entire world community is with Morocco in this difficult time and we are ready to provide them all possible assistance.”
RUSSIAN PRESIDENT VLADIMIR PUTIN IN A MESSAGE TO MOROCCO’S KING MOHAMMED VI
“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.”
IMF MANAGING DIRECTOR KRISTALINA GEORGIEVA
“My heart goes out to the victims and their families as they cope with this tragedy, and to those on the frontline of rescue efforts.”
An IMF spokesperson, asked about the planned IMF-World Bank annual meetings due to start in Marrakech on Oct. 9 said:
“Our sole focus at this time is on the people of Morocco and the authorities who are dealing with this tragedy.”
TURKISH PRESIDENT TAYYIP ERDOGAN
“We stand by our Moroccan brothers with all our means in this difficult day.”
ALGERIAN FOREIGN MINISTRY
“Algeria expresses its sincere condolences to the Moroccan people’s brothers in the earthquake victims,” the ministry was quoted as saying on the state TV’s Facebook page. “Algeria follows with great grief the consequences of the violent earthquake that hit several regions in the Kingdom of Morocco.”
GERMAN FOREIGN MINISTER ANNALENA BAERBOCK
“Awful images are reaching us from Morocco. Together with the people of Morocco, we mourn the victims of the terrible earthquake. Our thoughts are with them and all those who are searching for those buried in these hours and fighting for the lives of the many injured.”
FRENCH PRESIDENT EMMANUEL MACRON
“We are all shocked after the terrible earthquake in Morocco. France stands ready to help first aid responses.”
KING FELIPE VI OF SPAIN IN MESSAGE TO MOROCCO’S KING
“I wish to inform you in the name of the Spanish people of our deepest sympathies for the terrible consequences of the disaster and our deepest condolences.”
UNITED ARAB EMIRATES
In a statement, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs expressed its sincere condolences to the government and people of Morocco, and to the families of the victims of this tragedy, as well as its wishes for a speedy recovery for all the injured.
**** ASSISTANCE TO FOREIGN NATIONALS
The French Foreign Ministry said its embassy in Morocco and the ministry in Paris have opened crisis centres “to respond to demands for information or help from our compatriots.”
The German embassy in Rabat has set up an emergency number for Germans affected by the earthquake and is in close contact with local authorities, a German foreign ministry spokesperson said, without providing further details.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it was identifying the locations of its citizens now present in Morocco, “communicating with them and checking on them.”
($1 = 0.9347 euros)
(Compiled by Tomasz Janowski with contributions from Reuters bureausEditing by Frances Kerry)