DUBAI: In the presence of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, H.H. Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah, and H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council; the President of Türkiye Recep Tayyip Erdoğan conveyed his gratitude to the UAE and world governments for the aid and support extended to the earthquake-hit country in a pre-recorded video message to World Government Summit 2023 attendees.

The session was also attended by Macky Sall, President of Senegal, H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Crown Prince of Ras Al Khaimah, and a number of dignitaries, ministers and senior officials.

Erdoğan said Türkiye has received support and condolence messages from more than 100 countries, particularly the UAE, highlighting that the disaster “demonstrated the significance of international solidarity” in a world where humanity faces immense challenges.

“Today, hundreds of millions of friends and brothers from Africa to Asia, the United States to the Balkans, and Europe to the Gulf region are extending their helping hands to us,” the President said, after cancelling his planned visit to Dubai to participate in the World Government Summit, after his country was struck by two devastating earthquakes.

“I would like to say, May Allah bless you to all my brothers and sisters who, despite their meagre resources, have sent everything they have to our country.”

Erdoğan highlighted Türkiye’s efforts to aid survivors and recover from the disasters amid a rising death toll, calling the earthquakes “not just one of the biggest natural disasters in our country’s history, but also all of humankind’s.”

The earthquakes, he said, impacted about 20 million people after the damage extended to a 500-kilometre-wide region in 10 provinces inhabited by 13.5 million people.

“According to scientists, the energy released by these earthquakes is as powerful as 500 atomic bombs,” said Erdoğan.

He noted that over 81,000 injured quake survivors have been discharged from hospitals, and more than 8,000 people have been saved from the rubble as search and rescue teams, deployed from all over the world, continue their work to find more survivors.

Türkiye had declared a level 4 emergency in the earthquake-hit region. Erdoğan said the government will begin construction efforts soon.

Erdogan stressed that “global governance and close cooperation will determine the future of our world” as humanity navigates global challenges including natural disasters induced by climate change, as well as rising inflation, supply chain disruption, food and energy insecurities and supply chain fragmentation.

He highlighted Türkiye’s efforts to establish closer ties with the Gulf region in the fields of technology, space programmes, and renewable energy. “We also place a premium on the development of land and rail transportation infrastructure that will connect the Gulf region to Europe and Asia via Türkiye .”

“Türkiye and Gulf countries form the central axis for our region’s security, stability, prosperity, and economic integration," he said.

He added, “As Türkiye, we always say that our own stability and security are inextricably linked to the stability and security of the Gulf region.”

Erdoğan praised WGS’s role as a platform that seeks solutions to bring peace and justice in the world.

WGS 2023 has brought together 300 speakers including heads of state, ministers, government officials and thought leaders to discuss pressing issues and review current and future challenges in more than 220 panel discussions.

The Summit features more than 22 international forums reviewing the most prominent future trends in vital sectors. Interactive dialogues and sessions at the Summit address six main themes, including: Future of Societies and Healthcare, Governing Economic Resilience and Connectivity, Prioritising Learning and Work, Accelerating Development and Governance, Exploring the Frontiers, and Global City Design and Sustainability.