Erdogan and Trump ‘Agreed to Maintain Close Cooperation’ on Virus Threat

(Bloomberg) -- Turkey said it will keep working with the U.S. to parry the coronavirus’s danger to their economies, as the central bank in Ankara seeks to exchange currencies with peers.

In a phone call, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and U.S. President Donald Trump “agreed to maintain close cooperation against the threat from the coronavirus pandemic on public health and our economies,” Erdogan’s office said in a statement late Sunday, without elaborating.

In a March 31 call with Trump, Erdogan suggested that the U.S. Federal Reserve include Turkey’s monetary authority in its currency-swap arrangements with other central banks. Ankara also asked to be included in other developed nations’ swap lines, people familiar with the efforts said earlier this month, and on Sunday, central bank Governor Murat Uysal confirmed that Turkey is holding such talks.

Turkey’s international reserves are running low because of state lenders’ interventions to prop up the lira, which has slid 11% against the dollar since the country reported its first coronavirus case on March 10.

The number of confirmed cases, at 86,306, has surpassed China’s and Iran’s and related deaths climbed to 2,017 on Sunday.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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