General Phan Van Giang addresses the meeting.

Defense Minister General Phan Van Giang, who is also a Politburo member and Vice Secretary of the CMC, emphasized that while chairing a meeting of the standing board on February 21 in Hanoi to review the Vietnamese rescuers’ activities and results in helping Turkey overcome consequences of the recent earthquake.

Addressing the event, permanent member of the CMC, Chief of the General Staff of the Vietnam People’s Army and Deputy Defense Minister, Senior Lieutenant General Nguyen Tan Cuong informed that the 76-strong SAR mission left Hanoi for Hatay province, Turkey on the evening of February 12. In Hatay, the mission has collaborated with the disaster and emergency management authority of Turkey and other foreign rescue forces to implement the SAR duties. So far, they have searched a number of locations and located many sites with victims and handed over the sites to local rescue forces to bring the victims out of the rubble. They have also given assistance to local families in taking back their property.

Sr. Lt. Gen. Nguyen Tan Cuong (first from right) reports on the VPA rescuers' outcomes in Turkey.

Sr. Lt. Gen. Nguyen Tan Cuong added that on February 20, during his visit to Hatay province, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan thanked the VPA for sending troops to help the country in its rescue efforts. Leaders of Hatay province and local relevant agencies also met and expressed their gratitude to Vietnamese military rescuers for surmounting difficulties and danger to assist Turkish people. They also highly appreciated the rescue efforts of Vietnamese troops in Hatay.

Gen. Cuong also cited Vietnamese Embassy in Turkey as saying that Turkey has stopped search and rescue activities and started cleaning up damaged areas and rebuilding. Rescuers from several countries have also left Turkey. According to Gen. Cuong, all members of the Vietnamese military mission are in good health condition and ensured absolute safety.

In his concluding speech, General Phan Van Giang spoke highly of Vietnamese rescuers’ solidarity, overcoming difficulties, completion of assigned duties and their close coordination with local agencies and other foreign rescue forces.

An overview of the meeting

The defense minister said that during their task performance in Turkey, the mission received due care, direction and encouragement from the leadership of the Ministry of National Defense, the General Staff, and relevant agencies and units.

General Phan Van Giang stressed that the Ministry of National Defense will reward collectives and individuals when they return home after fulfillment of their duties in Turkey.

Translated by Mai Huong