Cuban President Miguel Mario Diaz-Canel Bermudez, who came to Ankara at the invitation of President Erdoğan, was welcomed with an official ceremony by Erdoğan.
While the cavalrymen greeted Diaz’s vehicle on the street in front of the Complex, President Erdoğan welcomed Diaz at the main entrance of the Presidential Complex.
While the national anthems of the two countries were sung with 21 guns, Diaz Guard Regiment saluted the Ceremonial Continent. Later, President Erdogan and Diaz posed on the stairs in front of the Turkish and Cuban flags.
After the bilateral meetings, President Erdoğan and Cuban President Diaz made statements in front of the cameras. Reminding that the last president-level visit from Cuba to Turkey was in 1996, on the occasion of Habitat, organized by the revolutionary leader Fidel Castro during his mayorship in Istanbul, President Erdoğan continued as follows:
“In 2016, I made the first official visit from Turkey at the Presidential level to Cuba. The visit of the President of the Republic is of particular importance in that it coincides with the 70th anniversary of the establishment of relations between our countries. Once again, I welcome the President and his delegation in your presence. I again convey my condolences for those who lost their lives in the explosions in Makanzaz in August and the hurricane in September.”
Expressing that he attaches importance to increasing cooperation with Cuba, Erdoğan said: “I am particularly pleased with the increase in high-level visits from Cuba to our country. During our meetings with the President, we discussed Turkey-Cuba relations from all aspects. We are also pleased to see that we have a strong will to strengthen our cooperation. “The effect of the unilateral sanctions imposed on Cuba for years is obvious. We have confirmed our determination to increase our trade volume to 200 million dollars with my esteemed friend. We evaluated the opportunities to develop existing cooperation in fields such as energy, tourism, construction, agriculture, development, health and environment,” he said.
Cuban President in Ankara: Turkish Firms Show Interest in Cuba
Emphasizing that the interest of Turkish companies in Cuba is constantly increasing despite the US sanctions, President Erdoğan said, “I believe that the President’s contacts with our business world in Istanbul will be very productive. THY, which organizes three flights a week between Istanbul and Havana, contributes to our social and cultural relations. Hopefully, Turkish companies’ investments in Cuba will increase in the coming period. We will continue the technical support provided by TIKA in the field of agricultural development in Cuba. We are among the few countries that have developed their own domestic vaccines against the coronavirus. We discussed entering joint vaccine investments in the next period in our bilateral meeting. We will take our cooperation in the field to a much higher level,” he said.
Speaking after Erdoğan, Miguel Diaz Canel thanked for the warm welcome and said, “We have always considered the values, rich history and culture of the Turkish people valuable. It is an honor for us to be here. We thank the esteemed President Erdoğan very much. We celebrate the 70th anniversary of the establishment of our diplomatic relations. “In our bilateral meeting with Mr. Erdogan, we realized a fruitful work in our meetings between the delegations, we saw our common determination. We agreed to take advantage of current opportunities and strengthen trade. I think we have set a good pace,” he said.
Cuban President Diaz at Anıtkabir
Cuban President Miguel Mario Diaz-Canel Bermudez also visited Anıtkabir with his delegation. Diaz-Canel and his entourage laid a wreath on the mausoleum and paid homage.
Afterwards, Bermudez and the accompanying delegation took a souvenir photo on the Anıtkabir stairs and went to the National Pact Tower and signed the Anıtkabir Special Book.
Bermudez wrote the following statements in the notebook:
“The Cuban delegation is visiting here to pay their heartfelt respect and respect to Kemal Atatürk, the founding father of the modern Turkish nation, whom Commander-in-Chief Fidel Castro described as an inspiration for the Republic of Cuba. As the Cuban and Turkish peoples, we have common values that are the legacy of the founders of both nations.”