ANTALYA: Turkish foreign minister on Nov. 30 said Spain was a “true friend” which did not withdraw its air-defense systems unlike many European countries that pulled theirs back.
Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu’s remarks came during an event organized at a hotel in Turkey’s Mediterranean resort city of Antalya to decorate Hasan Akıncıoğlu, Spain’s honorary consul to the city, with a royal medal of Spanish government.
Çavuşoğlu said the U.S., Netherlands, Germany, and Spain had dispatched their air-defense systems to Turkey following the emergence of the bloody civil war in Syria, but Italy announced it would withdraw its system whereas the other three had already pulled theirs back.
The top diplomat said Spain did not follow this withdrawal policy and added: “Spain is a true friend of Turkey. We thank [Spain] for this.”
Spain has never been prejudiced against Turkey, and praised the country for being open to criticism and sharing its views in an open manner, he added.
The bilateral ties date back to the Ottoman era, starting in 1782, Çavuşoğlu stressed.
“Our relations have grown stronger in every field,” he said, adding Ankara and Madrid got along with each other perfectly.
“Our economic and commercial relations are at a very good level as well,” he said and noted that there was room for further cooperation in the finance field, given the potential of the two countries.
Spain ranks sixth among Turkey’s European trade partner countries, the minister added.__Hurriyet