Turkey emerging as a ‘new power,’ Venezuelan President Maduro says in Ankara
“I think new power groups and centers will be born, and the world will reach a new balance based on cooperation, peace and equality. A struggle is needed for this world. We have come to Turkey because we believe in Turkey. We know that a new power is being born,” Maduro said at a ceremony organized at Ankara University, where he was presented with a certificate of friendship.
“The world is much bigger than a couple of countries. We are sure that a world with many centers will be built,” he added.
Afterwards, Maduro was greeted by Erdoğan at the Presidential Palace, where the two leaders held a press meeting.
Maduro said during the press meeting that a “new period” was awaiting between Turkey and Venezuela.
“On Dec. 24, we will celebrate the 60th anniversary of our diplomatic relations. In the recent period we have lagged behind but the five agreements signed today [with Turkey] is a sign of our new vision,” he added.
Erdoğan touched on the “new trade agreements” between the two countries.
“Turkish Airlines [THY] has not left the people of Venezuela alone in the difficult recent period. For THY flights to be made even more effective, we have voiced our requests from my dear friend [Maduro],” he said.
“This year is the 60th anniversary of Turkey sending an ambassador to Venezuela. We want our Latin friends to live independently, free of foreign interventions. And in trade we want to continue with a win-win policy. We wish for the recent problems in Venezuela to be solved through dialogue. Turkey is ready to give the necessary support. Hopefully in the upcoming period we will increase the number of diplomatic personnel to 15 [in Venezuela], and as soon as possible I want to visit Venezuela,” Erdoğan added.
Maduro’s visit on Oct. 6 comes amid stringent U.S. sanctions on the South American country and a deepening political crisis in Venezuela, which is struggling with triple-digit inflation and widespread shortages.
Earlier, the foreign ministers of Turkey and Venezuela participated in the opening ceremony of the Turkey-Venezuela Joint Cooperation Commission meeting aimed at forging cooperation between the two countries.
“We will sign four agreements today. These agreements in the fields of economy, security, food, agriculture, animal husbandry and tourism will further strengthen our relations,” said Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Cavuşoğlu at the opening ceremony.
“In this regard, we intend to open our first Yunus Emre Turkish Cultural Center in Latin America, in Caracas,” Cavuşoğlu added.
Later on, he and his Venezuelan counterpart Jorge Arreaza held a closed-door meeting.
“During our meeting, we discussed issues related to economy, energy, mining, tourism, agriculture, transportation, health, education and security,” Çavusoğlu told reporters after the meeting.
Turkish flag carrier Turkish Airlines’ Caracas and Havana flights - which were launched last year - have created an opportunity to increase cooperation in the field of tourism, he added.