Press Conference Highlights Abkhazia's Humanitarian Mission in Türkiye

Press conference held at the Sputnik press center in Sukhum.

Press conference held at the Sputnik press center in Sukhum.

SUKHUM / AQW'A ― A press conference was held at the Sputnik press centre on April 20, discussing the Abkhazian humanitarian mission's recent efforts in Türkiye. In response to the earthquake's devastating aftermath, Abkhazia offered aid, with support from the state, various organisations, and ordinary citizens.

On April 14, the cargo was transferred in the city of Kahramanmaraş. Shipped from Abkhazia, the supplies were handed over to the Disaster and Emergency Management Authority. Lev Kvitsinia, the Minister of Emergency Situations of Abkhazia, who participated in the mission, explained that the initial plan involved sending Abkhazian rescuers to the disaster site. However, the absence of official diplomatic relations made this impossible.

Consequently, the state allocated $100,000 from the repatriation fund budget as aid to Türkiye. The Ritsa National Park, Novy Afon Cave, World Abkhaz-Abaza Congress, Ministry of Culture, and Abkhazia residents actively contributed to the assembly of humanitarian cargo.

Additionally, eight containers were delivered to the affected regions, containing around 200 tons of essential humanitarian supplies, including drinking water, cereals, hygiene items, and flour. The cargo's delivery, arranged by a Turkish entrepreneur of Abkhazian descent, was provided free of charge.

The 20-ton aid package from Abkhazia will be delivered to Turkey's Ministry of Internal Affairs' Emergency Department.

+ Abkhazia Delivers Humanitarian Aid to Earthquake-Stricken Türkiye
+ Abkhazia to allocate $300,000 in relief funds for affected regions of Türkiye and Syria
+ Aid Campaign Launched in Abkhazia for Earthquake Victims in Türkiye

Parliamentarian Alkhas Bartsits noted that the Ministry of Emergency Situations announced a collection drive for humanitarian aid from the republic's residents, who contributed clothes, cereals, and other essential items. The deputy mentioned that the delegation informed the affected residents of Abkhazia's solidarity and expressed their condolences to the people of Türkiye.

While in Türkiye, the delegation visited three families impacted by the earthquake, extending condolences from Abkhazia's citizens and leadership and offering targeted assistance if required. "In villages where our compatriots reside, houses are unsuitable and dangerous for habitation. We mentioned the possibility of coming to Abkhazia for support. Many villagers offered living space, cows, and livestock. However, people are reluctant to leave their roots," Bartsits explained.

The Georgian representation in Türkiye also took action. The deputy stated that upon learning about the Abkhazian delegates' arrival, the Georgian side started contacting various organisations, questioning the legitimacy of a humanitarian mission from an "unrecognised country."

"The Turkish side responded appropriately, stating that Abkhazia has a significant presence here, with a diaspora of up to a million people who prioritise helping their compatriots," Bartsits said.

Alkhas Bartsits also reported that the Abkhaz delegation met with officials from Türkiye's State Agency for Combating Natural Disasters under the Ministry of Internal Affairs. The delegation presented the organisation with commemorative coins from the National Bank of the Republic. Bartsits stressed the need to establish connections with countries where their nationals reside.

Upon hearing about the delegation's arrival, Abkhaz diaspora representatives extended invitations, offered assistance, and expressed gratitude for Abkhazia's help during meetings. 

Deputy Inar Gitsba believes the presence of Abkhaz-marked goods in Türkiye's customs zone lays a "good groundwork" for future relations, despite the lack of official diplomatic ties. During the press conference, it was mentioned that Abkhazia initially planned to aid the Syrian Arab Republic by purchasing panel houses for earthquake victims. However, the Syrian side later requested monetary assistance via diplomatic channels, an issue deputies expect to resolve soon.




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