Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has conveyed his personal greetings to President Duterte whom he referred to as his “dear friend” during a recent presentation of credentials of the incoming top Philippine diplomat in Ankara.
Erdoğan relayed this message during the acceptance of Ambassador Maria Elena P. Algabre as the 10th resident Philippine envoy to Turkey in a ceremony at the Presidential Palace in the capital Ankara on Sept. 1.
Erdoğan and Duterte first met in May 2017 at the sidelines of the Belt and Road Initiative meeting in Beijing.
After the presentation of credentials, Erdoğan and Ambassador Algabre held bilateral talks where the two sides discussed issues of common concern, ranging from political, defense, trade and investments, people-to-people relations, among others.
The lady diplomat took the opportunity to thank the Turkish strongman and the Turkish people for hosting over 3,000 Filipinos in Turkey and expressed her deep appreciation for the warm welcome accorded to her.
The meeting concluded with the Philippine Ambassador’s commitment to contribute to nurturing and enhancing the strong ties of friendship and cooperation between the two countries.
She was accompanied by Consul General Arvin De Leon from the Philippine Consulate General in Istanbul, and Minister and Consul General Enrique Voltaire Pingol from the Philippine Embassy in Ankara.
On the Turkish government side, Erdoğan was joined by Presidential Communications Director Fahrettin Altun, Chief Presidential Adviser and Spokesperson Ibrahim Kalin, and Foreign Affairs Ministry (MFA) Director-General Yonet Ozal.
The following day, Algabre led Philippine Embassy officials in Turkey in the traditional wreath-laying ceremony to honor Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founding father and first President of the Republic of Turkey, at Atatürk’s mausoleum in Ankara.
Wreath laying ceremony is a tradition for incoming foreign ambassadors to Turkey.