Turkey included in UK, Hungary's list of safe countries: FM
ANTALYA- Anadolu Agency
Hungary has included Turkey in the list of safe countries to travel amid the coronavirus pandemic, the Turkish foreign minister announced on July 3.
“Hungarian foreign minister called me and said Turkey is in the list of safe countries and they will not impose 14-day quarantine for Hungarian tourists coming back from Turkey,” Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said at a joint new conference with his Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kuleba.
Çavuşoğlu and Dmytro, the first guest minister visiting Turkey’s southern resort city of Antalya since the start of the novel coronavirus, held the news conference following the eighth meeting of Turkey-Ukraine Joint Strategic Planning Group.
The Turkish foreign minister also said that the U.K. also included Turkey in the list of 59 safe countries for travel.
“Countries are announcing Turkey as a safe country, when objective criteria are considered,” he added.
On Tuesday, EU members decided to lift travel restrictions initially for 15 countries, including Canada, Algeria, Tunisia, Serbia, Rwanda, South Korea and Thailand, after a long debate among the member states.
The EU’s decision drew criticism from Ankara, with Turkish officials stressing that their country, which has successfully managed the pandemic process, should have been included in the list.
Russian annexation of Crimea
Noting that Turkey and Ukraine are not only neighbors but also strategic partners, Çavuşoğlu said boosting bilateral trade and things to be done after COVID-19 were discussed during the group meeting.
“We, as Ukraine and Turkey, have very close cooperation in the international arena,” he said.
“We support Ukraine’s border and territorial integrity in every platform,” Çavuşoğlu stressed, and said Turkey does not and will not recognize the annexation of Crimea.
Moscow and Kiev have been at loggerheads since 2014 when Russia annexed Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula after a referendum.
Turkey, as well as the U.N. General Assembly, view the annexation as illegal.
Turning to tourism between Turkey and Ukraine, Çavuşoğlu said the number of Ukrainian tourists crossed 1.5 million mark over the past two years, and first foreign tourist group to Turkey came from Ukraine this year amid the pandemic.
Best measures for tourists
Kuleba, for his part, said: “Turkey has taken the best measures for tourists. I saw these measures myself.”
"We are thankful to Turkey. They have taken all measures not only for flights, but also for our tourists to spend a safe holiday,” he added.
He also said the two countries want to double the trade volume by reaching a $10 billion target.
“This alliance [between Turkey and Ukraine] can become stronger with mutual assistance and investment,” Kuleba said.