President Moon Jae-in spoke on the phone with President of the Republic of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdoğan for 20 minutes from 5:00 p.m. today. During their telephone conversation, the two presidents discussed issues of mutual interest, including the current situation involving the COVID-19 outbreak.
President Moon began by asking for President Erdoğan’s understanding regarding the postponement of his scheduled visit to Turkey, which was to be in reciprocation for President Erdoğan’s state visit to Korea in May 2018. President Moon explained that the decision to postpone his visit was made in order to channel his full efforts into an all-out, pan-government response to the COVID-19 outbreak.
In addition, President Moon expressed his gratitude to Turkish First Lady Emine Erdoğan for her letter of sympathy to First Lady Kim Jung-sook concerning those COVID-19 victims who have passed away or tested positive.
President Erdoğan conveyed his sympathy for those Koreans who have passed away due to COVID-19. He also said that he wished those who have tested positive a quick recovery.
Noting that he fully understands the decision to postpone the visit, President Erdoğan said he hoped that President Moon would be able to visit his country in the near future.
President Moon expressed his gratitude to the Turkish President for inviting him once again and proposed that the two sides discuss the schedule in detail through diplomatic channels.
President Moon next expounded on the Korean Government’s measures taken to stem the spread of the COVID-19 outbreak and asked his counterpart to review easing entry restrictions on the Korean people.
The President also underscored that indispensable exchanges between businesspeople should not be disrupted, given the close economic cooperation between the two countries. President Moon asked the Turkish President to give positive consideration to resuming a minimum number of suspended flights between the two countries.
President Erdoğan spoke highly of Korea’s endeavor to end the COVID-19 outbreak. The Turkish President also said since Korea is taking stronger measures than any other country, he is looking forward to bilateral exchanges becoming normalized as soon as possible by overcoming the outbreak quickly.
President Moon emphasized that the sacrifice of Turkey, which sent the fourth largest number of troops among the countries participating in the Korean War, is even more special as this year marks the 70th anniversary of the outbreak of the War. President Moon went on to say that the two countries should continue to advance their strategic partnership not only at the bilateral level but also multilaterally.
President Erdoğan said Korea and Turkey have long been brotherly countries. The Turkish President also said he is looking forward to close bilateral cooperation being strengthened further in various areas such as trade, investment and infrastructure since the two countries have become closer economically due to their bilateral FTA taking effect.