El Salvador’s President Nayib Bukele on Friday said his country sees Turkiye as “an example” to follow.

Noting that his country is one of the smallest countries in the world and at the center of the entire American continent, Bukele said: “After 200 years of liberating ourselves from the Spanish crown, El Salvador is finally taking firm steps to achieve its true independence and write a history of modernity and progress.”

His remarks came during his speech in the Center for Latin American Studies (LAMER) at Ankara University.

“Today, we are in the right direction: we are turning our country into a beacon of light for Central and Latin America,” he continued.

The course of history would not change if the country cannot overcome obstacles, he said, adding: “On this point, we agree with the Turkish people, because step by step we begin to dream and build a prosperous, innovative nation that looks ahead to the future without fear, as Mustafa Kemal Ataturk (the founder of the Republic of Turkiye) did, that man who dreamed of a Republic of Turkiye, which is now an example for us.”

He added that “a friendly, free, independent, and sovereign state is being formed” in El Salvador.

The president emphasized that his government wants “the world to see El Salvador as an example, not only of what we Salvadorans can achieve but of all the potential that exists in Latin America.”

Bukele also said that being the first president of El Salvador who paid an official visit to Ankara is an honor for him.

He said his country can offer countries like Turkey “a fair, peaceful, and lasting relationship.”

At the end of the event, Ankara University awarded Bukele a Certificate of Friendship.

Turkish Deputy Foreign Minister Faruk Kaymakci, head of LAMER Mehmet Necati Kutlu, and Ankara University’s Rector Necdet Unuvar also attended the event.

Speaking in a joint news conference with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Thursday, Bukele voiced his country’s will to be a part of Turkiye’s growth.

A signing ceremony for six agreements in various areas, including the defense industry and trade, also took place ahead of the news conference. The trade volume between the two countries neared $50 million last year.

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