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Britain thanks NATO ally Turkey for coronavirus support

British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace expresses gratitude for medical equipment delivered from Turkey

Ahmet Gurhan Kartal   | 15.04.2020
Britain thanks NATO ally Turkey for coronavirus support

LONDON

Britain once again thanked Turkey on Wednesday for sending medical equipment for the fight against the coronavirus outbreak.

In a statement, Defense Minister Ben Wallace “expressed gratitude” for Turkey’s delivery last week of 250,000 items of personal protective equipment (PPE), including 50,000 N95 face masks, 100,000 surgical masks, and 100,000 protective suits.

Wallace’s message came following a NATO defense ministers meeting via videoconferencing today to discuss how the alliance would continue to “protect its almost one billion citizens, as it has done for over 70 years, during the COVID-19 crisis.”

Wallace “reaffirmed the U.K.’s support for NATO’s role in the international response to the crisis and committed to examining all requests for assistance from Allies,” a ministry statement said.

“NATO can play a key role in the international fight against COVID-19, and Allied solidarity is more important than ever to ensure both the security and the health of our almost one billion citizens,” Wallace said.

In discussions with fellow defense ministers, Wallace also “underlined the importance of NATO continuing its core work of defence and deterrence against enduring threats and any that might emerge as a result of the crisis.”

The U.K. will “continue to work with its Allies in NATO, partner countries and beyond, to galvanise a stronger global effort; to coordinate public health measures; to increase the resilience of the most vulnerable health systems; and to restore business confidence and protect jobs,” according to the statement.

Wallace also thanked Germany for sending 60 ventilators.

More than 12,800 people have so far died in the U.K. from coronavirus, and almost 100,000 cases have been confirmed.

The death toll is expected to rise further over the next week before showing signs of slowing down.

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