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Greek PM Calls Erdogan to Offer Condolences Over Earthquake; France Offers Help to Turkey & Greece

Rescue workers and local people try to save residents trapped in the debris of a collapsed building, in Izmir, Turkey, Friday, Oct. 30, 2020. (AP Photo/Ismail Gokmen)

Rescue workers and local people try to save residents trapped in the debris of a collapsed building, in Izmir, Turkey, Friday, Oct. 30, 2020. (AP Photo/Ismail Gokmen)

The expressions of solidarity came after weeks of tensions between France and Turkey, which reached a peak last weekend when President Recep Tayyip Erdogan questioned the mental health of his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron.

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis called Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to offer his condolences after a deadly quake that hit both countries on Friday.

"I just called President @RTErdogan to offer my condolences for the tragic loss of life from the earthquake that struck both our countries. Whatever our differences, these are times when our people need to stand together," he said on Twitter.

Meanwhile, the French government on Friday offered help to Turkey as well as Paris's close ally Greece after a devastating earthquake hit the Aegean region, leaving at least 12 people dead.

The expressions of solidarity came after weeks of tensions between France and Turkey, which reached a peak last weekend when President Recep Tayyip Erdogan questioned the mental health of his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron.

"Full solidarity from France with Greece and Turkey after the earthquake," tweeted Clement Beaune, the European affairs minister. "We are ready to provide the necessary assistance."

Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin added: "France stands alongside the Turkish and Greek people to face this terrible ordeal."

"If the governments of these countries desire, French aid can be immediately dispatched to the scene," he added.

Macron and Erdogan have locked horns on disputes over Libya, Syria and Nagorno-Karabakh, but Erdogan was especially infuriated by a new French campaign to stamp our radical Islamism after a series of jihadist attacks.

France, for its part, lamented that Turkey had sent no condolence message after the murder of a teacher who had shown a cartoon of the Prophet Mohammed to his class.

But Turkey on Thursday strongly condemned the attack on a church in the French Riviera city of Nice by a suspected radical Islamist that left three people dead.


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