Turkish president, Venezuelan counterpart held joint news conference in capital Ankara
Turkey and Venezuela are looking to boost ties in energy and trade, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Friday.
“We evaluated the steps needed to boost cooperation, particularly in the energy and trade sectors,” Erdogan said, speaking at a joint news conference along with his Venezuelan counterpart Nicolas Maduro at the presidential complex in the capital Ankara.
“We discussed what we can do in areas of agriculture, mining, tourism, transportation, development and defence," he added.
Earlier on Friday, a memorandum of understanding and several deals were signed between the two countries. Among them are deals in security, trade, aviation service and economic cooperation.
Erdogan added that he wanted to improve cultural relations with Venezuela.
“We discussed the opening of Yunus Emre Institute [Turkey's cultural foundation, in Venezuela] with President [Maduro],” Erdogan said.
He added that a Simon Bolivar Chair, named after the 19th century Venezuelan independence leader, will be opened at Ankara University soon.
He said: “We wish the recent problems in Venezuela to be solved through dialogue and reconciliation.”
Venezuela has grappled with deadly political and economic crises as low crude oil prices have forced the government to cut back or eliminate its socialist programs.
The crises have fueled public anger and fed massive protests that have left at least 100 deaths since April.
“We want to open a new era in relations between Turkey and Venezuela,” added Venezuela's president.
Maduro underlined the aviation deal, saying Venezuela will provide official and logistic support to strengthen the Caracas-Istanbul link.
Maduro’s visit is the first trip at the presidential level from Venezuela to Turkey.
By Cansu Dikme