Zimbabwe and Turkey yesterday celebrated 40 years of diplomatic relations with the country emphasising that all the necessary conditions have been created for expanding and deepening productive cooperation between the two countries.
In a statement yesterday to mark the 40th anniversary on the establishment of diplomatic relations between Zimbabwe and Turkey, the acting Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri said the Second Republic is committed to deepening ties.
"As we mark this important day we are pleased with the energy and enthusiasm shown by the people of Turkey and Zimbabwe to exploit the vast trade, investment and tourism opportunities that exist in both countries.
"I am pleased to note that Turkey, as it has done in several African countries, is ready to cooperate with Zimbabwe on a mutually beneficial win-win basis," she said.
Minister Muchinguri-Kashiri said friendly relations which are based on mutual respect and beneficial partnership should continue to develop in the interests of the two countries.
"Business people in both countries are strongly urged to take advantage of the existing opportunities and synergies to strengthen economic relations whilst the two governments are in the process of concluding the legal frameworks that will create a conducive business environment," she said.
Minister Muchinguri-Kashiri said this development symbolised Turkey's increased foreign policy focus on Africa through the Turkey/Africa Partnership arrangement which started with the inaugural Summit meeting that was held in 2008 in Istanbul.
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"In the past two years there have been significant exchanges of high-level visits from both the public and private sectors.
"Several memoranda of understanding and agreements on cooperation in many sectors have been discussed and finalised and only await signing at the appropriate time," she said.
Minister Muchinguri-Kashiri said the opening of the Turkish Embassy in Harare in June 2011 highlighted the growing relations between the two countries which date back to the time of Zimbabwe's liberation struggle.
"In furtherance of its policy of engagement and re-engagement, the new dispensation in Zimbabwe reciprocated by opening a resident Embassy in Ankara in October 2019," she said.
"This gave further impetus to the already existing excellent relations between our two countries. Unfortunately, the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic which ravaged the world and destroyed economies severely curtailed diplomatic and economic interactions between countries."
Minister Muchinguri-Kashiri however, said the lifting of the Covid-19-induced travel restrictions has witnessed enhanced interaction and a concerted desire to increase economic relations between Zimbabwe and Turkey.