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Turkish FM visits Venezuela to strengthen ties

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu arrived in Venezuela early Tuesday, where he met with high-level officials to consolidate strategic commitments 70 years after diplomatic ties were established between Caracas and Ankara. 

“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.

The two nations 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.

After Cavusoglu’s arrival, he held meetings with Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza and Vice President Delcy Rodriguez.

Arreaza welcomed Cavusoglu at Maiquetía International Airport and acknowledged Turkey's "humanitarian cooperation" in the midst of the pandemic by delivering aid to the once oil-rich country, hit by hyperinflation, a precarious health system and badly affected by rigid economic sanctions imposed by the US.

"We are going to review economic and health issues," said Arreaza, indicating that the visit will strengthen relations between the two countries.

Cavusoglu also brought a number of PCR tests to detect COVID-19.

"We are friends, and we are assisting each other in difficult times,” he said. "We are friends of Venezuela in good times and in bad.”

The minister is expected to hold bilateral talks with Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro later during the day.

After visiting Venezuela, he 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.

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