MARRAKESH, Morocco, Sept 10, 2023 (Net) – Leaders and diplomats the world over expressed con-dolences and offered their support for Morocco Saturday after a devastating earthquake struck the mountains southwest of Marrakesh.
The 6.8-magnitude earthquake that hit late Friday killed more than 1,300 people and injured more than 1,800 more, many of them critically, according to Moroccan authorities.
Support has poured in from leaders across the world.
– Europe –
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 underlined “Italy’s willingness to support Morocco in this emer-gency”.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen expressed sympathy “with the Moroccan people in the face of the terrible earthquake”.
And the European Union member countries, through the European Council said in a statement: “We are deeply saddened by the devastating consequences of this tragic event…
“As close friends and partners of Morocco, we are ready to assist in any way You may deem useful,” said the statement, addressed to King Mohammed.
– Russia, Ukraine –
The leaders of both Russia and Ukraine also offered their sympathies.
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”.
– India, Turkey –
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is hosting the G20 summit this weekend, said he was “ex-tremely 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”.
– Middle East –
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.
The president of the United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, said we “stand with the Kingdom of Morocco during this difficult time and wish a speedy recovery ahead to all those affect-ed”.
He also ordered an “air bridge to deliver critical relief” to the country, state news agency WAM report-ed.
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 gov-ernment to provide all possible assistance to Morocco.
– Africa –
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.
– World bodies –
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.
UNESCO, the UN heritage organisation, said it would help Morocco draw up an inventory of damage to national heritage sites and a repair strategy.