Turkish vice president meets Ukraine's new leader

Turkish vice president meets Ukraine's new leader

KIEV- Anadolu Agency
Turkish vice president meets Ukraines new leader

Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay met with Ukraine's newly elected President Volodymyr Zelensky in a closed-door meeting on May 20 in Kiev.       

The two countries reached a consensus on signing a Turkey-Ukraine free trade agreement for achieving a trade target of $10 billion.       

Oktay also expressed Turkey's concern regarding the annexation of Crimea.       

Eastern Ukraine has been wracked by conflict since March 2014 after Russia's annexation of the peninsula. Pro-Russian separatists living in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions declared independence in a move not recognized by the international community, including Turkey.       

The meeting came after the inauguration ceremony of Zelensky at the parliament building in Kiev, which was attended by heads of state, presidents of parliament and ministers from various countries.       

Oktay also met Romania's Deputy Prime Minister Ana Birchall during his visit to Ukraine, he said on Twitter.       

The two exchanged views on the meeting of the Turkey-Romania Joint Economic Committee planned to be held this year, he added.       

In a Twitter post, Birchall said: "Honored to meet the Vice President of #Turkey @fuatoktay06, welcoming positive developments in bilateral relations especially in the #economic field  & in-depth dialog on sectoral #cooperation initiatives within our #StrategicPartnership, as well as regional  & multilateral formats."       

Meanwhile, Oktay received Gagauz Turks, Ahiska Turks and Crimean Tatars living in Ukraine at Turkey's Embassy in Kiev.       

In the meeting, Oktay stressed that Turkey's support will continue.       

Additionally, he met with representatives of Turkish civil society and business residing in Ukraine.       

On Turkey's commitment to increase its trade volume with Ukraine, Oktay said trade volume between the two countries is around $6 billion. Turkey aims to increase it to $10 billion.        

During his swearing-in, Zelensky announced that he was dissolving parliament.       

According to the Ukrainian Constitution, parliamentary elections must be held within 60 days after this occurs.       

Zelensky won runoff elections on April 21 by a landslide, according to exit polls.       

As a candidate of the Servant of the People party, he secured 73.2% of the vote, while his rival, incumbent President Petro Poroshenko, received 25.3%.