Turkey determined to enhance ties with Venezuela: Erdoğan
“We resolve to preserve the momentum we have achieved over the past two years and to enhance our relations further,” Erdoğan said at a news conference alongside his Venezuelan counterpart Nicolas Maduro in the capital
Erdoğan, the first Turkish president to visit Venezuela, said that bilateral trade between Turkey and Venezuela has jumped more than six-fold over the previous year, exceeding $1 billion in the three quarters of 2018.
He underlined his confidence that Turkish investors would “act on the interests of both countries,” praising the “beautiful” buildings erected in the South America country by Turkish firms.
“Turkish investors will continue to develop and strengthen trade and the progress in oil production and refineries, petrochemicals for gold production, in diamonds, coltan, iron aluminum and tourism,” said the Venezuelan president.
He stressed that the two countries enjoy “independent” economic relations with a high degree of transparency.
“We do not interfere in the trade of the U.S. or other countries, nobody should interfere with our commercial and economic activities,” he said, stressing that the South American country would continue to legally export its gold resources.
Last month the U.S. imposed sanctions on Venezuela’s gold sector.
Maduro said the world was now past the time of “old empires of crushing supremacy” and had entered a multi-polar age.
Speaking at the business forum in Caracas, “Trade restrictions and sanctions are wrong,” Erdoğan said, warning that such measures would only deepen “instabilities.”
“You cannot punish an entire people to resolve political disagreements,” he added, according to an official translation of his speech to a business forum.
With oil production in a tailspin the socialist president Maduro has invited Turkish businesses to invest in exploiting a vast mining reserve known as the Arco del Orinoco in the south of the country, an area with considerable gold, diamond and coltan reserves.
Ten treaties were signed between the two countries, including on economic relations, defense industry cooperation and academia.