JOHANNESBURG

Turkey on Monday repatriated 37 of its nationals who were stranded in Rwanda for several weeks after air traffic was shut to slow the spread of coronavirus.

Burcu Cevik, Turkey’s ambassador to Rwanda, said a Turkish Airlines flight which landed in Kigali in the afternoon brought 14 Rwandans from Turkey. The plane later left for Istanbul with the stranded Turks.

“Six EU nationals are also on board our flight to Istanbul in addition to 37 Turkish nationals,’’ Cevik told Anadolu Agency over phone from the Rwandan capital.

Ankara, she said, also donated 50,000 face masks to Rwanda, while a private company in Turkey sent 40,000 masks to help the East African nation tackle the virus outbreak.

“Most of the Turks stranded in Rwanda were here for business or short holiday trips when the lockdown was implemented,’’ the ambassador said.

Turkey and Rwanda enjoy good bilateral relations. The two countries have signed several cooperative agreements in the fields ranging from education to trade and investment.

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