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Rising cooperation with Cuba important to Türkiye, says president

Baku, November 24, AZERTAC

Ankara attaches importance to its increasing cooperation with Cuba, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Wednesday, according to Anadolu Agency.

"I especially attach importance to increasing our cooperation and solidarity with Cuba, one of our main partners in the region," Erdogan said at a news conference with his Cuban counterpart Miguel Diaz-Canel Bermudez in the capital Ankara.

Erdogan said they discussed ways to develop existing cooperation in fields such as energy, tourism, construction, agriculture, development, health, and the environment.

"I believe that this historic visit will constitute a new turning point in Türkiye-Cuba relations," Erdogan said.

Diaz-Canel's visit coincides with the 70th anniversary of Türkiye and Cuba establishing diplomatic relations.

Diplomatic relations between Türkiye and Cuba were established in 1952. Türkiye opened its first embassy in the Caribbean island nation's capital Havana in 1979.

"As you know, our relations with the Latin America and Caribbean region constitute one of the main pillars of our foreign policy," Erdogan said.

He added that bilateral relations have remained under their potential since unilateral sanctions were imposed on Cuba years ago.

Türkiye and Cuba also agreed to raise their bilateral trade volume to $200 million.

"Türkiye and Cuba are among the few countries that have developed their own domestic vaccines against the coronavirus. In our bilateral meeting, we also discussed making joint vaccine investments in the next period," Erdogan said.

Diaz-Canel, for his part, underlined that throughout history, Türkiye-Cuba ties developed "on the basis of respect."

The president said he had a "fruitful" meeting with Erdogan and that the two countries agreed to further diversify bilateral trade relations.

"We have great confidence in the future of relations between Türkiye and Cuba, we believe that it will strengthen and expand," he added.

During the visit, Türkiye and Cuba signed six agreements in the areas of media and communication, culture, and diplomacy.

Erdogan also gifted Diaz-Canel a letter written in 1902 by Cuba's then-President Tomas Estrada Palma to Ottoman Sultan Abdul Hamid II.

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