BELGRADE, Serbia

The construction of 500 new housing units in Albania is a new sign of friendship between the two countries, said Turkey’s president on Wednesday.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan attended the groundbreaking ceremony held in Lac town of northwestern Albania via a live link.

“Hopefully, we will complete the first phase of the residential units as soon as possible and start handing them over to our brothers who lost their homes in the earthquake,” said Erdogan.

Albania is a close friend and partner of Turkey in the Balkans, the president said, adding: “We see the joy of the Albanian people as our joy and their sorrow as our sorrow.”

Four truckloads of aid were delivered to Albania by the Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency following the September earthquake.

According to Erdogan, the project includes 522 residences in total and will cost approximately 42 million Euros ($51 million).

The construction of hundreds of houses in Albania has begun after a devastating earthquake hit the Adriatic nation in November 2019.

The earthquake in the Adriatic coastal city of Durres on Nov. 26 killed 51 people and injured more than 900 others.

Turkey’s government-backed housing agency, TOKI, is implementing the initiative.

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