By Meltem Bulur
Turkey’s relations with Paraguay have new momentum with recent high-level visits and strengthening regional ties, said Ankara’s first ambassador to the South American country on Saturday.
Armagan Inci Ersoy spoke to Anadolu Agency on her aims as Turkey’s first envoy posted to Asuncion, Paraguay’s capital.
As bilateral cooperation mechanisms are so far lacking, Ersoy hopes to break new ground in the two countries’ ties.
Ersoy expressed her enthusiasm to be the one to initiate many areas of cooperation “from political dialogue to economic cooperation.”
The ambassador, who previously served in Bulgaria, Germany, Brussels, and Pakistan, said while Turkey’s decision to develop ties with the region dates back to 1998, relations with Latin America and the Caribbean reached new heights after 2006 with mutual high-level visits and emerging relations with regional organizations.
As part of Ankara’s outreach towards the region, since 2010 it has opened embassies in Peru, Colombia, Ecuador, the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, and Trinidad and Tobago.
Ersoy stressed the potential in establishing representations in faraway regions, saying cooperation can begin on a very positive note due to a lack of historical baggage and prejudice.
While the decision to open an embassy was made after a visit by Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu last year, Paraguay’s U-turn on its embassy in Israel — moving it back to Tel Aviv after a brief relocation to Jerusalem — gave the process “new momentum”, said Ersoy.
She emphasized the importance of economic ties, touting the “many opportunities” for Turkish investment and trade, which currently stands at $300 million.
“We must act without losing this momentum. If we take concrete steps, I believe the rest will follow,” Ersoy said.
Reporting by Meltem Bulur:Writing by Ahmet Salih Alacacı