Venezuelan Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino Lopez met with Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay in Ankara, Turkey's capital, Monday. Lopez also met with his Turkish counterpart Hulusi Akar and attended a ceremony at Turkey's Ministry of Defense during the visit.
Con la visita al Mausoleo de Mustafa Kemal Ataturk doy inicio a una agenda de trabajo ordenada por el Sr Pdte y CJ de la #FANB @NicolasMaduro en Ankara, Turquía. Avanzaremos por la vía de la cooperación bilateral para beneficio de nuestros pueblos. pic.twitter.com/62CFXGnHrn— Vladimir Padrino L. (@vladimirpadrino) October 22, 2018
The meeting is one in a series of bilateral meetings held between the two countries since their presidents, Nicolás Maduro and Recep Tayyip Erdogan, sought to strengthen previously established ties in May.
"I have spoken with the Vice President of the Republic of Turkey, Fuat Oktay, on matters of common interest to both nations, I also delivered a letter of greetings signed by President Nicolas Maduro to the Turkish people and the government president by Recep Tayyip Erdogan," Padrino Lopez said in a post published to his Twitter account.
During his visit, Padrino Lopez laid a wreath at the mausoleum of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, Turkey's first president, and held a closed-door meeting with several ministers to discuss cooperation in the field of defense as well as regional issues.
He conversado con el Vicepresidente de la República de Turquía @fuatoktay06 asuntos de interés común para ambas naciones. También le hice entrega de una Carta de Salutación firmada por el Sr Pdte @NicolasMaduro al pueblo turco y al gobierno que preside @RT_Erdogan pic.twitter.com/PvNKlIUQOb— Vladimir Padrino L. (@vladimirpadrino) October 22, 2018
At the United Nations' General Assembly in September, Erdogan defended Venezuela's right to self-determination and said neither he nor his government would abandon the South American country after it faced a week of attacks from various regional and world leaders.
“Turkey will not leave (Venezuelan President Nicolas) Maduro alone,” Erdogan said at the assembly in New York while berating other leaders, who have taken aim at Venezuela's leader.
Erdogan also said if his agenda allows it, he would visit the country following the G-20 summit in Argentina scheduled for Nov. 30 - Dec. 1. Mevlut Cavusoglu, Turkey’s Foreign Minister visited Venezuela in September and also took the opportunity to reiterate his country’s support for the South American nation that is currently facing economic woes, worsened by economic and financial sanctions led by the United States and supported by the European Union, Canada and several countries in the Americas, who form part of the Lima Group.
“We want to reiterate that Turkey will continue to support Venezuela. … We oppose measures to isolate the country, we are against the sanctions, and we favor dialogue between individuals,” Cavusoglu said.
In recent times, Venezuela has also been participating in stronger trade relations with Turkey having signed a series of bilateral trade and economic agreements.