Antony Blinken in Turkey on Sunday, to support Ankara

He will travel to Turkey on Sunday to see the ongoing humanitarian effort after the devastating earthquakes that killed nearly 40,000 people. The head of the American diplomacy, Antony Blinken will first join the air base of Incirlik in the south-east of the country from where part of the humanitarian aid for the disaster areas leaves, then in Ankara where he will have talks with Turkish authorities on Sunday and Monday, according to a statement.

The American leader will begin this new European tour on Thursday via Germany, where he will participate on Friday and Saturday in the Munich security conference which will be largely devoted to the war effort in support of Ukraine against Russia, as well as than to the rivalry between the two American and Chinese superpowers.

$85 million in humanitarian aid

And he will complete it with a trip Monday evening and Tuesday to Athens in Greece. The United States deployed several search and rescue teams to Turkey last week, about 200 people, and released a first tranche of $85 million in humanitarian aid.

They also provided Black Hawk and Chinook helicopters to transfer supplies, officials said. Aid in Syria goes through local partners, the United States refusing any contact with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. The US Secretary of State’s trip to Turkey, his first since taking office two years ago, was scheduled before the February 6 earthquake.

The two allied countries in NATO maintain sometimes tumultuous relations, President Joe Biden having not hesitated to call his counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan an autocrat several years ago. US officials privately expected a meeting between Blinken and Erdogan.

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