TUNIS, Tunisia

The Tunisian presidency early Friday said a Turkish plane carrying medical aid for the Libyan people has arrived.

The Turkish plane landed at the Djerba-Zarzis International Airport, the presidency said in a statement, adding that the medical aid will be transferred to Libya through Ras Ajdir border crossing by local Tunisian authorities.

Libyan airports face great security challenges as a result of the repeated attacks by the militias of the warlord Khalifa Haftar which periodically result in civilian deaths and injuries.

Speaking to reporters while receiving the plane, the Turkish Ambassador to Tunisia Ali Onaner said: “The plane carried medical aid to Tunisia and Libya.”

Onaner explained that the aid consists of supplies necessary to face the coronavirus crisis.

Earlier Friday, the Turkish National Defense Ministry said in a statement that a shipment of medical aid had been sent to Tunisia upon instructions by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to stem the spread of coronavirus.

As of Thursday, Tunisia recorded 1,026 cases of coronavirus, including 44 deaths, while Libya reported 64 cases, including three deaths.

Turkey has sent similar aid to over 60 countries, including US, Spain, Italy, UK, Serbia, Kosovo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, northern Macedonia, Montenegro, Libya, Palestine and South Africa.

* Writing by Mahmoud Barakat in Ankara.

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