Turkey may receive a second shipment of 50 million COVID-19 vaccine doses from China if the countries reach an agreement, said President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday.
“A second shipment may arrive from China. If we agree on that matter, we can purchase an additional 50 million [doses] from China,” he told reporters in Istanbul after Friday prayers.
On restrictions and measures taken against the coronavirus, he said: “The fluctuating appearance of the [COVID-19] strains necessarily make it difficult for us to make decisions.”
He also said the country would continue to ease coronavirus restrictions but added the priority remains the “well-being of our citizens.”
On other vaccine purchases, Erdogan said Turkey’s agreements with China and Germany are ongoing, adding that there are ongoing talks with Russia towards an agreement.
So far, more than 10.55 million vaccine doses have been administered across Turkey, according to official figures.
They include 7.83 million first doses and more than 2.72 million second doses. Turkey began its mass vaccination campaign on Jan. 14.
Egypt, Saudi Arabia
Erdogan also confirmed reports of cooperation with Egypt in various areas after years of difficult ties.
“Our cooperation with Egypt in terms of intelligence, diplomacy and economy is already continuing. There’s no problem with that. It isn’t at the highest level, but close to a high level,” Erdogan said, adding that he hopes to strengthen relations further.
Saying that the people of Egypt and Turkey are inseparable, Erdogan said relations could grow stronger once intelligence, diplomatic, and political negotiations yield results.
On Friday, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu announced that Turkey and Egypt started diplomatic-level contacts after several years of a hiatus in ties.
On Saudi Arabia’s joint military training with Greece, he said Turkey had hoped not to see Riyadh make “such a decision,” adding that it will discuss the matter with Saudi authorities.
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