Moldova’s top envoy in Ankara has praised the development of his country’s relations with Turkey, describing them as “a strategic partnership”.
“The visit of President of the Republic of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan to Moldova, in October 2018, gave a new impetus to bilateral relations, which boosted them to the level of a strategic partnership, Igor Bolboceanu, Moldova’s ambassador, told Anadolu Agency in an interview.
Erdogan’s trip in October last year made him the first Turkish president ever to visit Moldova in 24 years.
Bolboceanu said it made a significant contribution to the ties between the two nations.
The ambassador said the visit saw five bilateral agreements signed in free movement of persons, transportation, military training, youth and sports, and education.
The deal on the free movement of persons allowed for passport-free visits for citizens of both countries for up to 90 days using their national ID cards.
“We are convinced that the new protocol will also increase the number of Moldovan tourists visiting Turkey — one of the main destinations for the summer holidays,” he said.
Bolboceanu said the free trade agreement signed on Nov. 1, 2016, between the two countries contributed to the development of the economic ties, by removing barriers in trade, increasing economic flow and creating attractive conditions for foreign investment.
The envoy also called for closer cooperation in higher education, adding that 185 Turkish citizens were enrolled in educational institutions in Moldova for the 2017-2018 academic year.
Bolboceanu said the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency carried out more than 400 projects worth over 40 million dollars in Moldova — especially in Gagauzia — in the past 25 years in infrastructure, agriculture, health, and education.
Gagauzia is an autonomous region in Moldova that is home to a mostly Gagauz population — an Orthodox Christian, Turkic community.
“The Gagauz Community of the Republic of Moldova remains a bridge between Moldova and Turkey, and the Turkic-Gagauzian linguistic similarity may play an important role in the development of business relations,” Bolboceanu added.
Writing by Erdogan Cagatay Zontur