World, Europe

Turkish president meets with G20 leaders in Italy

Erdogan holds talks with Italian, Dutch premiers, EU Commission head as part of 2-day summit in Rome

Zafer Fatih Beyaz and Baris Seckin   | 30.10.2021
Turkish president meets with G20 leaders in Italy

ROME

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday met with world leaders on the sidelines of the G20 Rome summit.

Erdogan met Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi at the La Nuvola Convention Center, which host the 2021 summit in Italy, the first in-person summit since the COVID-19 pandemic.

The 35-minute closed-door meeting was also attended by Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and his Italian counterpart Luigi Di Maio, as well as Turkey’s Treasury and Finance Minister Lutfi Elvan, Communications Director Fahrettin Altun, and Justice and Development (AK) Party spokesman Omer Celik.

An official statement by the office of the Italian prime minister described the Erdogan-Draghi meeting as "constructive."

"Constructive exchange of views on EU-Turkey relations, the Afghan crisis and stability in the Mediterranean, with particular attention to the developments in the intra-Libyan political process," it said.

The Turkish president also received Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte. The two officials held a 30-minute closed-door meeting.

Separately, Erdogan met with EU Commission head Ursula von der Leyen for a 30-minute talk. The closed-door meeting was also attended by Cavusoglu.

"Good exchange with Recep Tayyip Erdogan. We took stock of ongoing work on a range of issues, from the pandemic to economic recovery, the situation in Afghanistan and beyond," von der Leyen said on Twitter.

Later, the Turkish president held a 30-minute closed-door meeting with his Indonesian counterpart Joko Widodo.

The meeting was also accompanied by Cavusoglu, Elvan, and Altun.

Erdogan is also set to meet with his US counterpart Joe Biden on Sunday afternoon.

'Constructive meetings'

Meanwhile, Altun said on Twitter that Erdogan had "constructive meetings" with world leaders on the first day of the summit, and reiterated Turkey’s commitment to working with other nations to tackle global problems due to the ongoing pandemic.

He noted that during the meeting with von der Leyen, Widodo, Draghi, and Rutte, Erdogan conveyed Turkey’s readiness to do its "fair share" to address the pandemic’s consequences.

"While the global economy has been shrinking, the Turkish economy has recorded significant growth in the past three-quarters thanks to our President Erdogan’s leadership. Our country has avoided imposing trade barriers and protectionist policies during the pandemic," Altun noted.

Altun also reiterated that his country continued to help other nations in "these historic times" by sending some 160 countries medical equipment and other aid.

He underlined that Turkey has made "significant progress" in its vaccination program which is "crucial" in keeping the economy open.

Altun also recalled that Turkey is developing its indigenous vaccine, which will be available to the country's citizens "very soon."

G20 countries need to do more to help less-developed nations with their vaccination programs to end the pandemic, he added.

"President Erdogan continues to create solutions to global challenges in the most important platforms like G-20. He underlines the importance of cooperation between advanced economies and less developed nations to overcome the problems of our world."

The 2021 G20 summit, which has convened the leaders of the world's 20 leading economies and representatives of international organizations, began in Rome on Saturday.

The two-day summit, hosted by the G20 term president Italy, was inaugurated by Italian Premier Draghi.

The group of the 20 largest and most advanced economies is to address the coronavirus pandemic, ways to foster a robust economic recovery and boost global cooperation on climate action.

Meetings are also expected to discuss the migrant crisis and other geopolitical issues.

The Rome summit is the 16th G20 gathering at the level of heads of state and government. The first was held in Washington in November 2008, and the previous one was held online under the presidency of Saudi Arabia in November 2020.

The forum has met every year since 1999, and includes, since 2008, a yearly summit, with the participation of the heads of states and governments.

*Merve Aydogan contributed to this story. Anadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.