Albania PM optimistic of world support on quake recovery

The Albanian army uses a remote-controlled explosion to demolish a building in the western port city of Durres, Albania, Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2019. A remote-controlled explosion has demolished the six-storied building considered threatening after being damaged from the 6.4 magnitude earthquake in Albania. A quake a week ago killed 51 persons, injured more than 3,000 people, and damaged more than 11,000 buildings. (AP Photo/Hektor Pustina)

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TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Albania’s prime minister said Wednesday he was pleased with the international support he secured at a NATO summit on dealing with the aftermath of a 6.4-magnitude earthquake that killed 51 people and injured more than 3,000 others.

Edi Rama said before leaving the NATO summit in London that he had positive meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump and other leaders from Europe and Canada and that he received a positive reaction to his aspiration to hold an international donors’ conference.

The European Union and the United Nations are coordinating international efforts, including those from the United States, to assist Albania after the earthquake that affected more than half of the country’s 2.8 million population.

Ursula von der Leyen, the new president of the European Commission, said in a tweet that the EU’s executive branch has pledged 15 million euros to Albania and that it will help organize a donors’ conference.

The Nov. 26 quake damaged more than 11,000 buildings and left an estimated 12,000 people homeless who are now sheltering in hotels, public buildings, tents, with relatives and in neighboring Kosovo.

The worst-hit areas were Durres, a popular beach vacation spot for Albanians, 30 kilometers (20 miles) west of Tirana, and the nearby northern town of Thumane. Many schools still remain closed.

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Llazar Semini is on Twitter: https://twitter.com/lsemini

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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