Turkiye, World, Americas

On visit to Colombia, Turkiye's top diplomat touts growing ties

In 4th stop on Latin American tour, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu holds press conference with Colombian counterpart

Sinan Dogan   | 27.04.2022
On visit to Colombia, Turkiye's top diplomat touts growing ties File photo

BOGOTA, Colombia 

Touting Turkiye’s growing ties with Latin America on a regional tour, the country’s top diplomat on Wednesday said such relations are important, including with Colombia.

Speaking at a press conference alongside his Colombian counterpart Marta Lucia Ramirez in the capital Bogota, Mevlut Cavusoglu said: "The fact that we did not cancel this visit, which was planned previous to the Ukraine war, despite the many problems in our region is a mark of the importance we place on this region."

Mentioning Ramirez's visit to the Turkish capital Ankara earlier this month, Cavusoglu said: "My visit here less than a month later shows the momentum we have achieved in our relations."

He said Turkiye will be pleased to welcome Colombian President Ivan Duque in May, and he will discuss preparations for the visit with this counterpart.

"We will discuss the steps we will take to further our bilateral relations in various areas," he added.

Noting that over the last 20 years Turkiye has boosted the number of its embassies in Latin American countries from six to 18, Cavusoglu said an embassy will also be opened very soon in San Salvador, El Salvador.

Turkiye’s trade with the region has ballooned from approximately $1 billion to $15 billion, he said, with a $2 billion trade volume with Colombia last year.

The two countries aim to increase the trade volume to $5 billion, he said.

Ramirez said Turkiye carries great importance for her country, adding that it is “in a very important position in terms of history and geography.”

Praising Turkiye’s mediation efforts in the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war, she said: “Turkiye is taking many initiatives to end the war.”

Later, Cavusoglu spoke at the opening ceremony of the Maarif Foundation building in Bogota. He said the Maarif Foundation has become the fifth largest educational institution in the world.

Stressing that the Maarif Foundation operates at different levels in 67 countries, he said the foundation becomes “Turkiye’s pride” in international education.

He hoped the number of representatives and schools in Latin America will increase.

Noting that it is Maarif Foundation’s second representative in Latin America, Cavusoglu said that: “Our representative in Bogota also creates master's and doctoral programs in the field of Turkish history, culture and diplomacy, increasing the exchange of academics and students between our countries.”

Cavusoglu’s Colombia visit on his Latin American tour follows stops in Uruguay, Brazil, and Ecuador, and will continue with Panama and Venezuela before returning to Turkiye this weekend.


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