World Bulletin / News Desk
El Salvador is seeking cooperation with Turkey over earthquake early warning systems, the country’s foreign minister said Friday.
"El Salvador is a quake-prone region. So, we would like to cooperate with Turkey over early warning systems. Because Turkey has an important experience in this area," Hugo Martinez Bonilla told Anadolu Agency on the sidelines of 2nd Foreign Ministers Forum of Turkey-Central American Integration System (SICA) in Istanbul.
A strong earthquake measuring 7.6 on Richter scale killed over 950 people and injured around 5,500 in the capital city of San Salvador in January 2001.
The minister said transfer of know-how, equipment and software were the main fields that they wanted to cooperate in, adding a group of Turkish experts would be visiting El Salvador to evaluate the existing warning system in the country.
During the interview, the central American foreign minister also expressed his will to enhance trade ties with Turkey.
"We would like to sign a bilateral free trade agreement, followed by a regional one. This would enable us to boost our trade relations," he said.
He called on Turkish businesses to invest in El Salvador "as soon as possible," noting the lack of any Turkish investment in the country.
Bonilla also called for an increase in tourism between the two countries.
"I would like to stress that our government and people are friends of Turkey. Our doors and arms are open to you," he said.
The first forum between Turkey and SICA was held in February 2015 in Guatemala, during which Turkey signed an agreement to become an extra-regional observer to the organization.
SICA was established in 1991 to extend cooperation among Central American countries for regional peace, democracy and economic development.
It has eight member states -- Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Honduras, Panama, Costa Rica, Belize and Dominican Republic -- and 10 extra-regional observers, including Germany, Spain, Japan and China.
It is still a wide-open race to succeed President Enrique Pena Nieto, who is deeply unpopular heading into the final stretch of his six-year term in a Mexico beset by endless corruption scandals and record levels of violent crime.
His comments came as he faces criticism from survivors of the attack over his ties to the powerful National Rifle Association, and after several thousand rallied in Florida to demand urgent action on gun control.
Temer came to the city to meet Governor Luiz Fernando Pezao, several ministers and General Walter Souza Braga Netto, who will lead the operation and who was in charge of coordinating security when the city hosted the 2016 Olympic Games.
Muslims have suffered the most by far from ISIL’s terrorist attacks, Iraqi premier tells Munich Security Conference
Israel struck six targets affiliated with Hamas's armed wing in Gaza Strip, Palestinian security source says
Washington concurs with Ankara on need for locals taking control of liberated areas, says US defense secretary
Army uses live ammunition, rubber bullets to disperse stone-throwing Palestinians in West Bank, Gaza
"Deal of the Century" refers to a back-channel U.S. plan to settle the Palestine-Israel dispute
Interior Minister Alfonso Navarrete and Alejandro Murat, governor of the state of Oaxaca, were on their way to survey the scene of the destruction left by the 7.2 magnitude earthquake when the accident occurred, the interior ministry tweeted.
The arrival of Trump and his wife Melania came at the end of a difficult day for the families of those killed in Wednesday's rampage at a high school in Parkland, Florida, who learned that the carnage could perhaps have been averted.
Trump to consider report suggesting high tariffs or quotas on steel and aluminum imports
Tanks to be integrated into Iraqi armed forces 'within days', Defense Ministry source says.
Army uses teargas and live ammunition to disperse stone-throwing Palestinians in West Bank city of Nablus
Jens Stoltenberg speaks about recent events near the Kardak islets in Aegean Sea between Turkey and Greece