Armenian Deputy Foreign Minister Vahan Kostanian posted a video of a convoy of five Armenian trucks crossing a bridge over the Arax river separating the two countries. They reportedly carried 100 tons of food, medicine and other relief supplies.
Serdar Kilic, a senior Turkish diplomat representing his country in normalization talks with Armenia, tweeted photos of the trucks and thanked Yerevan for the aid.
“I will always remember the generous aid sent by the people of Armenia to help alleviate the sufferings of our people in the earthquake-stricken region in Turkey,” wrote Kilic.
“Happy to have been able to assist,” his Armenian opposite number, Ruben Rubinian, tweeted for his part.
Officials said that the relief aid will be delivered to residents of the southeastern Turkish city of Adiyaman ravaged by the magnitude 7.8 earthquake that struck Turkey and Syria on February 6.
Armenia deployed a 27-strong search-and-rescue team there on Wednesday following Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian’s phone call with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Garo Paylan, an ethnic Armenian member of the Turkish parliament, said on Saturday that the team rescued an 8-year-old girl from the rubble of a collapsed building in Adiyaman.
Armenia also sent 29 rescuers and a planeload of humanitarian aid to the northern Syrian city of Aleppo which was also hit hard by the quake. Pashinian spoke with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad by phone on Tuesday.
According to Turkey’s state-run Anadolu news agency, Ankara opened the Alican checkpoint on the Turkish-Armenian border for the first time in 35 years.
Turkey has for decades made the opening of the border and the establishment of diplomatic relations with Armenia conditional on an Armenian-Azerbaijani peace deal acceptable to Azerbaijan. Turkish leaders have repeatedly reaffirmed this precondition since the start of the normalization talks with Yerevan in January 2022.
Kilic and Rubinian held four rounds of negotiations before announcing in July that the border will be opened for citizens of third countries. The two sides also agreed to allow mutual cargo shipments by air.