Turkish warship docks in Somalia’s coastline


MOGADISHU, Somalia - The implementation of the defense deal between Somalia and Turkey has kicked off, following Ankara's decision to dispatch a warship which has since docked along Mogadishu Port, in the country's mineral-rich coastline which is yet to be fully explored.

The Kınalıada F514 ship docked at Mogadishu Sea Port on Tuesday, two months after President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud signed the pact, which irked the United Arab Emirates (UAE), since it had also signed a similar agreement with Somalia.

Somalia signed the pact after Ethiopia penned an MoU with Somaliland, a breakaway region of the country that guarantees Addis Ababa 20 kilometers of the Indian Ocean for the construction of the port and military base. The agreement provoked Somalia, which sought Turkey's support in the protection of her coastline.

"Turkey’s first warship has arrived at Mogadishu Port, initiating the 10-year agreement with Somalia. The nations will collaborate on coastal protection, blue economy growth, and naval defense capabilities. A high-level event with state leaders is set to celebrate this strategic partnership," state media reports.

Somali Prime Minister Hamza Abdi Barre addressed members of the cabinet in February and said that under the agreement, Turkey will build, train, and equip the Somali navy. He described Turkey as a "true and reliable brother."

On Monday, Türkiye's National Defense Ministry said the warship - TCG Kinaliada is on its way to mark the 100th anniversary of Türkiye's relations with Japan. The two countries closely partner on matters of development.

Throughout its 134-day voyage, the ship will travel some 27,000 nautical miles and there will be a total of 24 port visits in 20 countries, including Japan as well as Saudi Arabia, Djibouti, Somalia, the Maldives, Bangladesh, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, China, South Korea, the Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, India, Oman, Qatar, the UAE, Pakistan, and Jordan.

Ankara has been a major security and development partner of Mogadishu and trains the elite GorGor troops who are essential in the fight against Al-Shabaab.

Turkey's ventures in Somalia usually face Al-Shabaab attacks, but the Middle East country has remained focused on Somalia’s stabilization mission.


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