Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan held a joint press conference with his Venezuelan counterpart Nicolas Maduro who is in Ankara on a state visit — a first by a Venezuelan president to Turkey.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Friday that Ankara and Caracas are looking to boost ties in energy and trade sectors.
“We evaluated the steps needed to boost cooperation, particularly in the energy and trade sectors,” Erdogan said at a joint press conference along with his Venezuelan counterpart Nicolas Maduro in 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 political and economic crises as low crude oil prices have forced the government to cut back or eliminate its socialist programmes.
The crises have fueled public anger and fed massive protests that have left at least 100 deaths since April.
"New era in relations"
“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.
Earleir in the day, Maduro visited the Turkish parliament and met the Parliament Speaker Ismail Kahraman.