efe-epaCaracas

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said here Monday that his country is going to "cover the majority of the needs of Venezuela," which is plagued by shortages amid a severe economic and social crisis.

"We're going to cover the majority of the needs of Venezuela, we have that strength, we have that opportunity. I would like to emphasize this fact," Erdogan said at a bilateral business forum attended by Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.

Erdogan on Sunday night arrived in Caracas on his first official visit to the South American nation.

At the forum, in which 50 Turkish and 150 Venezuelan businessmen took part, the Turkish leader said that he is ready to cooperate in various economic areas, but he noted that "the business climate for businessmen needs to be improved."

"And we have to continue with the cooperation. I want this meeting to be beneficial for the businessmen of Venezuela and Turkey," continued Erdogan, adding that he wants to strengthen the process begun when Maduro visited Istanbul in July.

"We want to strengthen the process that we began in Istanbul, in investments, energy, mining, tourism, agriculture, transportation, health, education, security. We have a great deal of potential for cooperating in all these business areas," he said.

The Turkish leader said that bilateral economic relations have great potential and that his aim in visiting Caracas is for the trip to be the beginning of sustainable and "diversified" cooperation.

On a different note, Erdogan condemned the failed assassination attempt against Maduro last August during a military ceremony, saying that it was "a threat to Venezuela's desire for independence."

"They wanted to steal the will of the Venezuelan people and I would like to say that we don't accept this conduct and Turkey is giving its support to Venezuela on the presidential level," Erdogan said.