ANKARA

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday hailed relations with Ukraine and said both countries enhanced their ties in many fields including the defense industry, health and tourism through a win-win approach.

At a news conference in the capital Ankara following a meeting with his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky, Erdogan said Turkey viewed Ukraine as a key figure required to establish peace, stability, and security in the region.

The Turkish president said both sides were committed to make free-trade agreements and boost bilateral trade volume to $10 billion through investments and growing socio-economic relations.

Stressing that more than 500,000 Ukrainian tourists visited Turkey this summer despite the COVID-19 pandemic, Erdogan said this data reflected Ukrainians’ trust in Turkish authorities’ “safe-tourism” campaign.

The president also commented on the political front, saying Ankara has always supported Ukraine’s territorial and political integrity, adding Turkey never recognized the illegal annexation of Crimea.

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