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Moon asks Turkish leader to ease travel restrictions

All News 19:51 March 06, 2020

SEOUL, March 6 (Yonhap) -- President Moon Jae-in asked Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan Friday to ease Turkey's travel restrictions on South Koreans due to the coronavirus outbreak here.

Moon spoke to President Erdogan on the phone for about 20 minutes to discuss the situation regarding COVID-19 and other matters of bilateral interest, according to Cheong Wa Dae.

Turkey has suspended all passenger flights to and from South Korea. It is also requiring those who've visited South Korea to be quarantined for 14 days after arrival, regardless of symptoms.

This photo released by Cheong Wa Dae on March 6, 2020, shows President Moon Jae-in on the phone with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

Moon explained South Korea's efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19, and asked Turkey to consider resuming at least some flights so that essential business exchanges won't be affected.

According to Cheong Wa Dae, Erdogan praised South Korea's quarantine efforts and expressed hopes South Korea's strong measures will pave the way for a quick normalization of the two countries' exchanges.

Moon on Wednesday canceled his visit to Turkey, set for later this month, in order to focus on a nationwide fight against the novel coronavirus. Moon sought Erdogan's understanding of his decision.

Cheong Wa Dae said Erdogan acknowledged Moon's situation and that he hoped Moon will reschedule his visit in the near future. Erdogan also offered condolences to South Koreans who've succumbed to the virus.

Moon thanked Turkish first lady, Emine Erdoğan, for writing a letter to South Korean first lady Kim Jung-sook expressing her condolences for COVID-19 victims here.
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