The head of the American diplomacy Antony Blinken announced Sunday in Turkey the granting of 100 million dollars of additional aid to the victims of the earthquake which killed nearly 45,000 people in the country and in neighboring Syria.
Antony Blinken came to show the support of the United States for its ally within NATO, arrived from Munich, in Germany, where he took part in a conference on security, on the air base of Incirlik in the south- east of the country.
It is from this base, where some 1,500 American soldiers are stationed, that part of the humanitarian aid, in particular American, is sent to the areas affected by the earthquake of magnitude 7.8 which occurred on February 6.
It is also from there that Antony Blinken took off to fly over the devastated province of Hatay (south-east) in a helicopter.
This earthquake is the worst disaster for contemporary Turkey which, according to a latest report, has killed 40,689 people in this country alone.
When you see the extent of the damage, the number of buildings, the number of apartments, the number of houses that have been destroyed, it will take a massive effort to rebuild and we are committed to supporting this effort,”
said said Mr. Blinken.
We are adding $100 million to help those in desperate need,
” he said.
The secretary of state was scheduled to speak with military and humanitarian officials who coordinate US aid.
On Sunday afternoon the Turkish authorities announced the end of the search except in two provinces where the chances of finding survivors remain slim: that of Karhamanmaras, where the epicenter is located and that of Hatay, where the head of American diplomacy has witnessed the immensity of the disaster.
The United States deployed several search and rescue teams to Turkey the day after the earthquake, totaling around 200 people, and released an initial tranche of $85 million in humanitarian aid.
They also provided Black Hawk and Chinook helicopters to transfer supplies.
The United Nations has appealed for international aid to raise one billion dollars for Turkey.
Antony Blinken was to win in the Ankara evening where he will meet President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in particular on Monday.
This is the US Secretary of State's first trip to Turkey since taking office two years ago.
This visit had been scheduled before the earthquake of February 6, which disrupted the agenda.
The two countries, allies in NATO, maintain sometimes tumultuous relations.
But the United States recognizes that their ally has a constructive role, particularly with regard to the war in Ukraine.
Among the disputes are the potential sale of F-16 fighter jets promised by President Joe Biden to Turkey but which remains stalled by congressional opposition;
and the Turkish blocking of Finland and Sweden joining NATO.
After Turkey, Antony Blinken will complete his European tour in Athens where he will have a series of meetings on Monday evening and Tuesday with the authorities of this country, Turkey's historic rival but also a partner in NATO.
Read alsoEarthquake: Turkey stops research except in two provinces
Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said Thursday that the earthquake "
could be an opportunity
" to redefine the hitherto stormy relations between Athens and Ankara.
Greece was one of the very first European countries to send rescue teams to the regions affected by the earthquake.