Aid to Turkey from Armenia enters by the Margara Bridge.

Armenia Sends Humanitarian Aid Through Long-Closed Border to Turkey

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YEREVAN — Armenia has sent humanitarian aid to earthquake-stricken Turkey across the long-closed border separating the two historic enemies, the government in Yerevan said.

“Armenia has sent humanitarian aid to Turkey. Trucks with humanitarian aid have crossed the Margara bridge on the border and are on their way to the earthquake-stricken region,” Vahan Hunanyan, the press spokesman for the Armenian Foreign Ministry, wrote in a Twitter post on February 11.

“Trucks with humanitarian aid crossed the Armenian-Turkish border today and are on their way to the earthquake-affected area. Happy to have been able to assist,” Ruben Rubinyan, vice president of the Armenian National Assembly, wrote along with a photo showing an Armenian truck entering Turkey from the bridge.

Serdar Kilic, a former Turkish ambassador to several countries — including the United States and Japan — and currently Ankara’s special envoy to Armenia, thanked Yerevan and wrote that a 28-person search-and-rescue team and technical equipment had been sent by Armenia immediately after the earthquake.

In addition, he said, “Five truckloads of 100 tons of food, medicine, water, and other emergency aid packages from the people of Armenia passed through the Alican border gate this morning and set off for Adiyaman.”

“I will always remember the generous aid sent by the people of Armenia to help alleviate the sufferings of our people in the earthquake stricken region,” he wrote.

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Turkish state-run news agency Anadolu said the border crossing was last used in 1988 when the Turkish Red Crescent sent aid to Armenia, which itself had been hit by a devastating earthquake.

Humanitarian aid and rescue teams have begun flowing into Turkey following the catastrophic earthquake five days ago that killed at least 25,000 people and injured tens of thousands more.

The land border between Turkey and Armenia has been closed since 1993.

A phone call on July 11, 2022, was Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan’s first direct contact with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The leaders pledged in that call to build on a recently established process aimed at normalizing travel, trade, and diplomatic relations between their two countries.

Ankara has long made the opening of the border and establishment of diplomatic relations with Yerevan conditional on a resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict that is acceptable to Azerbaijan.

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