Turkey and Belarus have the potential to reach a trade volume goal of $1.5 billion, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Tuesday.
Speaking at a joint news conference with his Belarusian counterpart Alexander Lukashenko following bilateral meetings, Erdogan said: "Our bilateral trade volume goal is now $1.5 billion, we have the means to achieve this and encourage investors."
Erdogan pointed out that they discussed military, political, commercial and cultural relations and evaluated further steps to be taken in the direction of mutual development.
Noting that both countries signed six agreements to boost their trade volume, Erdogan said they are working on mutual projects to boost cooperation between two countries in the field of transport and industry.
Erdogan said he was pleased with the increasing number of Belarusian tourists coming to Turkey. He said 245,000 tourists visited Turkey in 2018, compared to 113,000 in 2016, adding the figures were expected to increase further.
He went on to say that relations between both countries were based on mutual respect, adding Turkey was the first country to recognize Belarus.
Erdogan also welcomed the way Belarus assisted Turkey in its fight against Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), the group behind the 2016 coup attempt in Turkey that left 251 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured.
"Belarus has not left us alone in this regard, they have taken the essential steps and got rid of FETO. I'd like to thank the president and ministers in this regard," he said.
Lukashenko, for his part, said Belarus gave utmost importance to its relations with Turkey and eyed further cooperation between both countries.
"We don't have any difference of opinions on any topic, the core of our cooperation is economy. We discussed joint investments, chemistry, agriculture and textile fields," he added.
Earlier Tuesday, Lukashenko arrived on an official visit to the capital Ankara. Erdogan welcomed Lukashenko with an official ceremony at the presidential complex.
By Ali Murat Alhas