The President of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, signed an agreement in Chile Monday to strengthen cooperation between the two countries, opening an important strategic door into Latin America.
Erdogan met his Chilean counterpart Michelle Bachelet in La Moneda Palace as part of a tour which will extend to Ecuador and Peru in search of new markets.
“Chile is a key country for our opening in Latin America and the Caribbean. This strategy of opening in the last 10 years has had a very important impetus,” Erdogan said after the meeting, according to a translator.
“Turkey begins in Chile its Latin American approach,” Bachelet said.
In the last decade, Turkey has opened new diplomatic missions and started to increase its presence in Latin America. Commercial exchange has multiplied ninefold, reaching US$10 billion in 2014.
“We believe that there is space to expand and diversify our commerce,” said Bachelet, particularly with the inclusion of “new products and services. We hope to begin negotiations in this sense in the short term.”
The Turkish leader also talked about the crisis of refugees fleeing to his country from Syria and Iraq. The situation has cost Turkey a staggering US$9 billion, he claimed.
“All these dramas of refugees that we see on television, these bodies of people who have died are symbols of the conflict,” he added.
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