Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus calls Turkey’s aid shipments to other countries "exemplary."
The World Health Organization (WHO) chief praised Turkey for showing an "exemplary" solidarity with the coronavirus-hit countries, while his top aide said the country has a "huge history" of large-scale disaster management and of offering support to other countries.
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus made the remarks at a video press conference in response to a question on Turkey’s dispatching of essential supplies to European countries and others amid the coronavirus outbreak.
Tedros said he had joined on Friday morning the presidents of Turkey, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Uzbekistan through the Turkic Council.
"All the leaders agreed that they should cooperate among themselves as a regional entity, but also cooperate with these other countries and support countries who need support," he said.
"I also appreciated the President of Turkey, President Erdogan, for the contributions he has made, starting from neighbouring countries and beyond, as has been said in medical supplies,” the WHO chief said.
He said this was the "solidarity principle" the WHO has advocated to fight the pandemic.
"And that's why I appreciate their contribution. And that's what we should continue to do. While doing our best in our borders, we should also support those who need our support," the WHO chief added.
Tedros said that what Turkey and other countries in the Turkic Council were doing "is actually exemplary. And I hope all countries will adhere to the principle of solidarity and fighting this invisible but dangerous enemy together."
At the same news conference, WHO's CEO for Health Emergencies Dr Mike Ryan said that Turkey has a history in large scale disaster management, and it has learned many lessons in the past, especially with earthquakes.
"There's probably no better country on the European continent better prepared to deal with natural disasters and large-scale population-based disasters," said Ryan.
He said Turkey has "many, many people more vulnerable, particularly refugees and migrants."
As Turkey has done over the years, the global community needs now, to offer solidarity to it in taking care of disasters, he said.
"It is incumbent on the international community to also offer that support in return, now that Turkey faces its own crisis," said Ryan.