By Nilay Kar Onum
MINSK, Belarus (AA) - Turkish prime minister said on Wednesday said Turkey and Belarus are seeking to further develop relations between the two countries during his two-day official visit to the country.
“I believe this visit will lead to further develop the relations, which are already good,” Binali Yildirim said at a joint news conference with his Belarusian counterpart Andrey Kobyakov in the capital Minsk.
The two prime ministers held bilateral talks before the news conference.
Calling the meeting with his Belarusian prime minister as ‘fruitful’, Yildirim said that they discussed trade and economic activities between the two countries.
Subjects of education, science, innovation, human development, sports, culture, and expansion of mutual investment and trade were also discussed in the meeting, he noted.
Yildirim has been the first prime minister from Turkey to have visited the country. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had also paid Turkey’s first presidential visit to Belarus in 2016.
“Turkey and Belarus get along well and have common ground in the regional and international fields as well as bilateral talks, which is ongoing at a very good level,” he said.
Around $1 billion trade volume between the two countries does not reflect the real potential, Yildirim said and added that the two countries could increase the trade volume by taking joint steps.
“We fully support the [economic] expansion of Belarus to Africa and the Middle East,” Turkish premier added.
Yildirim also noted that Turkey welcomes Belarus’s policy aiming to preserve peace, stability and welfare.
- Important partner
The Belarusian prime minister, for his part, said Turkey is one of the important partners for his country in the region and the world.
Kobyakov noted that their priority is to increase the trade volume between the two countries.
Turkey-Belarus Business Forum will be held in Minsk on Thursday, where prospects for further development of mutual trade, economic and investment cooperation would be discussed.
Kobyakov said Thursday’s forum would be a “beginning of a new cooperation term.”
The two countries inked agreements in six fields such as transportation, economy, sports, standards, science, and librarianship.
Turkey was the first country to recognize the independence of Belarus. Diplomatic relations were established in 1992.