Erdoğan visits Russia, Kuwait, Qatar to handle economic ties


Ahead of his departure from Istanbul for a three-day trip to Russia, Kuwait and Qatar, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan explained the topics of discussions he will cover in each country.

In a press conference yesterday, the president said he will discuss a range of topics during his visits, including regional issues and economic cooperation.

Erdoğan highlighted that he will discuss an ongoing visa issue with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin during his visit. Visa-free travel between Turkey and Russia was suspended after the jet-downing crisis in Nov. 2015 along with several trade restrictions. Apart from visa liberalization, the two parties will also focus on a trade target of $100 billion, President Erdoğan said, underscoring that a great deal of obstacles hindering the achievement of this target have been lifted.

Referring to the improvement of the Russian tourism market, he informed that more than 4 million Russians visited Turkey in the first nine months of the year. He mentioned that energy partnerships within the perspective of TurkStream and the Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant will also be evaluated as works continue to make the latter operational by 2023.

In his second stop, Kuwait, Erdoğan is expected to improve bilateral ties. This year has been particularly beneficial for Turkey-Kuwait relations, the president noted, as he has paid two visits to the country, once to attend the groundbreaking ceremony for an airport to be constructed by Turkish contractor Limak Holding and second to discuss regional matters.

During the Kuwait visit, the diversification and expansion of bilateral trade and the strengthening of cooperation in the construction sector will be discussed. The two parties will also deliberate on the facilitation of opportunities for Kuwait's citizens to invest in Turkey and visit the country for touristic purposes.

In Qatar, his last destination, Erdoğan is scheduled to attend the 3rd Turkey-Qatar High Strategic Committee Meeting. The president highlighted that many agreements which have been fully negotiated will be signed.

The agenda of the Qatar visit is full of economic and investment partnerships, he said, adding, "We aim to increase the $710 million trade volume reached in 2016. New initiatives are planned in defense, energy, transportation, food safety and health."

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