Erdogan intends to visit Somalia again this year
ABIDJAN, Côte d'Ivoire- Turkish President Recep TayyipErdogan will again travel to Somalia this year in a sign of Ankara’s growing strategic interests in the East African country, Garowe Online reports.
In a column titled: “Burgeoning ties, common future,” President Erdogan Monday said that Turkish people always saw their African brothers and sisters as their equals and built bridges on the basis of mutual respect and appreciation.
On Sunday evening, Erdogan landed in Abidjan where he was holding talks with his Ivorian counterpart in the first stop of his western Africa tour that also includes Ghana, Nigeria and Guinea. He boasted that Turkey unlike colonial powers has a history in Africa without dark chapters.
Turkish leader who last year visited Somalia, Ethiopia and Djibouti is leading a large delegation of cabinet ministers, parliamentarians, other government officials and members of the business community.
Turkey is keen to build closer ties with African nations, with deeper cooperation in political, economic and commercial areas.
Turkey will host the Third Turkey-Africa cooperation summit in 2019.
‘Somalia represents successful humanitarian diplomacy’ On Somalia, Turkish President praised role in Somalia, noting Turkey's efforts in Somalia, among other places, represent one of the greatest accomplishments of humanitarian diplomacy.
Erdogan marked the first non-African leader to visit bullet-ridden Mogadishu in a rare move of raising awareness about devastating drought in the region in August, 2011.
Ankara welcomed Somali political leaders to Sixth Somali Compact High Level Partnership Forum held in the Turkish city of Istanbul earlier last week.
He also hailed the fact that Turkey’s rebuilding mission has earned respect and recognition from international community.
“I intend to visit Mogadishu again this year to inaugurate a valuable symbol of the importance Turkey attaches to the African continent,” President Erdogan unveiled in his concluding remarks.
Turkey is criticized for its diplomatic and humanitarian concentration in the capital. Speaking under customary condition of anonymity, Puntlandpoliticians faulted Turkey on partisan initiatives centred in Mogadishu.