Turkey's president on Tuesday hailed Bolivia's support for Jerusalem and praised South American country's approach to the Golan Heights issue as well.
Recep Tayyip Erdogan's remarks came at a joint news conference with his Bolivian counterpart Juan Evo Morales Ayma at the presidential complex in Ankara, Turkey's capital.
"I want to thank Boliva for its support for Palestine's cause, especially for Jerusalem's status and protection of the Palestinian civilians," Erdogan said also praising the country's approach to the Golan Heights issue.
Erdogan said the regional and global issues were discussed and concerns about the rise of the far-left and tendencies against Islam were raised during the meeting.
Last month, U.S. President Donald Trump recognized the Golan Heights as an Israeli territory.
The move came after Trump recognized Jerusalem as the Israeli capital in late 2017 and moved his country's embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem last year, triggering world outcry.
Jerusalem remains at the heart of the decades-long Middle East conflict, with Palestinians hoping that East Jerusalem -- occupied by Israel since 1967 -- might one day serve as the capital of a Palestinian state.
Bolivia's President Juan Evo Morales, for his part, expressed willingness for improving ties with Turkey. "I believe we can achieve this because we share the same ideas."
Meanwhile, Morales criticized the U.S. for appointing a president to Venezuela, rejecting the U.S. move.
Appointing presidents today was like the appointment of governors during the colonization era, he said.
In January, opposition leader Juan Guaido, who declared himself interim president, a move supported by the U.S. and many European and Latin American countries.
Saluting Turkey's stance towards Venezuela crisis, Bolivia's president said: "I very well know the Venezuelan state, its government and people ... It is a country that defends its independence and sovereignty despite the fiscal troubles. That's why we support them."
He called on the people of the Latin American countries to reject any military intervention regardless of its ideology.
Morales also said Bolivia eyes a cooperation with Turkey in defense industry.
"We need a cooperation in defense field, especially to combat smuggling. We want the transfer and purchase of technology cooperating with the army, and we need it," he said.
Morales also expressed his pleasure for Turkey's plan for direct flights to Bolivia in the first quarter of 2020."
He concluded his speech marking the popularity of Turkish TV series and Turkish Airlines in Bolivia.
Erdogan and Morales also issued a joint statement, noting the broad discussion on regional situation in Europe, Asia and Latin America as Bolivia currently holds the rotating presidency of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC).
The statement highlighted that Tuesday's meeting bears a historic importance as Morales' trip marks the first visit from Bolivia to Turkey at the presidential level.
The leaders also expressed pleasure for operation of Turkish mission, which started its activities in February 2018, in Bolivia's administrative capital La Paz.
Erdogan and Morales voiced intention to hold special events in both countries in 2020, which marks the 70th anniversary of Turkey-Bolivia diplomatic relations, according to the statement.
Both leaders approved the third meeting of the political consultation mechanism, which was established 20 years ago, as soon as possible to discuss the issues on the agenda of bilateral relations at the technical level , it said.
The two leaders also agreed on boosting bilateral trade relations and holding the first meeting of Joint Economic Commission, which was established with Economic and Commercial Cooperation Agreement, within this year.
Erdogan and Morales stressed the importance of rejecting any kind of discrimination and extremism by defending fundamental rights and freedoms.
Bolivian President Morales thanked Erdogan for his warm hospitality and invited him to his country, the joint statement read.
Source: Anadolu Agency