World Bulletin / News Desk
Turkey and Singapore are like doors of opportunity opening to their regions to one another, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on on Thursday.
“This visit shows the importance of developing relations with Singapore within our vision,” Erdogan said during a joint press conference with his Singaporean counterpart Lee Hslen Loong during his trip to Singapore, the first by a Turkish prime minister in 18 years.
Accompanied by a delegation of around 100 businesspeople, Erdogan held talks and inter-delegation meetings with Loong at Istana Presidential Palace and the two leaders attended signing ceremonies for memoranda of understanding (MOU), including one on the fight against terrorism.
Diplomatic relations between the two countries have been increasing since 2009 when then president S. R. Nathan visited Turkey to mark 40 years of relations, Erdogan emphasized.
Meanwhile, Loong stated that the two leaders had decided to start negotiations on establishing a free trade agreement (FTA).
“In addition to a free trade agreement, we also talked about civil aviation and increasing the number flights between the two countries, and agreed,” Loong added.
On Thursday, Erdogan was also accepted by Singaporean President Tony Tan Keng Yam.
Erdogan attended a lunch hosted by Loong following the meeting at the presidential palace. Turkey's Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc, EU Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and other cabinet members were present at the lunch which was closed to press.
The Turkish prime minister began 2014 with a Far East Tour, accompanied by ministers and businesspeople with economic relations at the top of the agenda. Having visited Japan, the delegation will also travel to Malaysia.Last Mod: 09 Ocak 2014, 14:20