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.
Later Wednesday, Cavusoglu is due to be received by Duque.
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.”
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.