El Salvador president to meet Erdogan in Turkey this week

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SAN SALVADOR, Jan 18 (Reuters) - Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele will travel to Turkey this week to meet his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan in a bid to boost mutual cooperation and investment in the Central American country, the government said on Tuesday.

Bukele's visit will take place in Ankara between Thursday and Friday, and will include meetings with business leaders and the placement of a floral offering at the monument to Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the Turkish republic's founder.

"El Salvador has explored opportunities for Turkish firms to invest in El Salvador, specifically in energy and tourism, setting out the advantages of the coastal strategy known as Surf City," the Salvadoran government said in a statement.

Critics have accused both the veteran Erdogan and Bukele of seeking to concentrate excessive power and of undermining institutional checks and balances on their authority.

Erdogan has been highly successful at the ballot box, while Bukele, a 40-year-old proponent of bitcoin with Palestinian forebears on his father's side, is one of the most popular leaders in the Americas, according to opinion polls.

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Reporting by Nelson Renteria; editing by Dave Graham and Grant McCool

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