Syria’s president, Bashar al-Assad, thanked the United Arab Emirates for its emergency response and tens of millions pledged in aid to the quake-hit country, the presidency said.

The UAE was among the first countries that stood with Syria and sent huge relief and humanitarian aid and search and rescue teams,” Assad said during a meeting on Sunday in Damascus with Emirati foreign minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al-Nahyan.

The UAE pledged about $13.6m to Syria after the disaster before announcing another $50m in assistance.

Emirati planes have been providing an air bridge for those affected by the earthquake.

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