Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu visits Caracas to sign some agreements and mark the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries.
Turkey has delivered medical equipment to Venezuela to help the crisis-stricken country to deal with the novel coronavirus pandemic as Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu visited Caracas seeking to deepen bilateral ties.
Ankara has been one of the key backers of Venezuela's socialist President Nicolas Maduro, who has faced coup attempts and has overseen a six-year economic crisis in the once-prosperous OPEC nation but has so far withstood an 18-month effort by the United States to oust him through sanctions on the country's oil sector.
Turkish Foreign Minister Cavusoglu visited Caracas to sign some agreements and mark the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries.
"Neither sanctions, nor a blockade, nor any type of situation will prevent us from deepening our economic and commercial relationships," Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza said in a state television broadcast after meeting with Cavusoglu.
“On the 70th anniversary of our diplomatic relations, we are in Venezuela to evaluate our cooperation and sign agreements,” Cavusoglu wrote on his Twitter account.
Arreaza thanked his counterpart, on behalf of President Nicolas Maduro and the Venezuelan people for Turkey's support in the fight against Covid-19 in Venezuela.
I had a pleasant working meeting with the MFA of the Republic of Turkey, Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu. We discussed the agenda of cooperation, support and coordinated actions between Turkey and Venezuela to ensure the health and welfare of our peoples. pic.twitter.com/np2Vrttl3B— Nicolás Maduro (@maduro_en) August 19, 2020
As tensions between Caracas and Washington have grown in recent years, Turkey has deepened economic ties with Venezuela, with trade volume between the two countries amounting to around $150 million by the end of 2019.
Cavusoglu also met with Maduro and Vice President Delcy Rodriguez. He said the plane he arrived on had also brought medical equipment, including PCR tests to detect Covid-19.
The two nations also signed an agreement that will allow for the construction of housing and a hospital, as well as the delivery of supplies to cope with the outbreak of the coronavirus in the South American country, where cases exceed 34,000.
READ MORE: A new era in Turkish-Venezuelan relations?
After visiting Venezuela, Cavusoglu will head to Haiti to visit his counterpart Claude Joseph.
Prime Minister Joseph Jouthe and President Jovenel Moïse are also scheduled to meet with the top Turkish diplomat.