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Vietnamese police set off for search, rescue mission in Turkey

The Ministry of Public Security on February 9 held a send-off ceremony for personnel deployed for aiding search and rescue activities in Turkey, which was hit by a 7.8-magnitude earthquake on February 6.

The quake, the most devastating disaster sweeping Turkey since 1939, has so far caused 16,000 deaths and destroyed dozens of thousands of houses. The local authorities have declared a state of emergency serving urgent search and rescue work.

Addressing the ceremony, Minister To Lam said the delegation is sent to Turkey for finding victims, providing humanitarian assistance, and helping the people stabilise their lives after the disaster.

He affirmed that the ministry’s participation in the search and rescue efforts reflects the political commitments of Vietnam as a responsible member of the international community, staying ready to address difficulties, challenges, and maintain a peaceful and stable environment serving cooperation and development regionally and globally.

Turkish Ambassador to Vietnam Haldun Tekneci said on February 6 when the earthquake occurred that the embassy received the ministry’s offer for assistance. He expressed a deep gratitude toward the Government, the ministry, other competent agencies of Vietnam and each member of the rescue team.

On behalf of the 24-member team, Colonel Nguyen Minh Khuong stressed the importance of their upcoming work and pledged efforts to fulfill the mission.

In an interview with the Vietnam News Agency on the ceremony, Lieut. Gen. To An Xo, spokesman of the ministry, said this is the first time that the security body has sent a delegation on international mission to a disaster area far away from Vietnam's territory. The group of search/rescue and medical personnel set off immediately after receiving the approval from the Prime Minister.

Considering them Vietnam's messengers of peace, Xo hoped they will leave nice impressions in the hearts of the Turkish people and international friends; and learn valuable experiences from the mission./.