Erdogan and Maduro cement alliance with 'golden handshake'

Erdogan and Maduro cement alliance with 'golden handshake'

"We have this strength, we have this opportunity", said Erdogan through an after a meeting with Maduro and many local businessmen.

"I want my visit to be considered as a symbol of collaboration of the Turkish people with the people of Venezuela", said Erdogan.

Hit by low oil prices, mismanagement and the impact of United States sanctions, Venezuela is in freefall and Maduro is seeking support from allies after winning a second presidential term this year.

President Erdogan has promised to boost his unlikely and bourgeoning alliance with Venezuelan dictator Nicolas Maduro on the first state visit of a Turkish president to the South American country.

Erdogan and Maduro signed a series of agreements in the areas of mining, commerce and oil.

"Turkish investors will continue to develop and strengthen trade and the progress in oil production and refineries, petrochemicals for gold production, in diamonds, coltan, iron aluminum and tourism", said the Venezuelan president.

"Trade restrictions and sanctions are wrong", Erdogan said, warning that such measures would only deepen "instabilities".

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The Turkish president added that his "friend" Maduro was facing "manipulative attacks from certain countries and acts of sabotage from economic assassins", in an apparent reference to the United States.

"Political problems can not be resolved by punishing an entire nation", said the Turkish head of state.

The US has accused Venezuela's government of violating human rights and triggering an economic meltdown.

"Political problems can not be resolved by punishing an entire nation", Erdogan said, with Maduro by his side at a forum attended by business people from both countries.

Venezuela, overwhelmed by hyperinflation, a severe shortage of commodities and a strong recession, has reportedly exported around $ 700 million worth of gold to Turkey.

In what Maduro said was a clear message to the world, he stressed Turkey's position as an "important leader" in Eurasia and the current head of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) as well as Caracas' place as the leader of the Non-Aligned Movement.

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